Two Poems by John Tustin


I remember you being quite beautiful
and you are quite beautiful still
after all these years,

not even differently so.

It’s not about the way
the light reflects
or the clothing hangs
or the shape of your breasts
or body,

‘though that is spectacular.

It is some unnamable thing,

some glow,
some movement of your mouth
with lips and teeth
of my drunken dreams.

The way your eyes are something
that seem to be
made for me
like God apologizing.

I remember you
as you were

and see you
as you are

and dream you
as what may be.

Tonight it sustains me.  


all my life
wherever I go
it’s been the same –

the same conspiring eyes
on a different face

the same chastising mouth
on a different head

the same inexorable killing engine
in a different frame

the same switch
in a different taskmaster’s hand

the same ending
sweetened by different beginnings

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