I left the stadium that night so sad.
I thought quite clearly you’d betrayed me, you see.
I understood right then you’d hurt me on purpose:
the goal was quite obvious – you had tempted
me and turned my head
with your beautiful eyes and thoughts
for my own damn goddamn fucking good.
You’d discovered how your mother’d destroyed my
awful life (not awe-
ful, then!) for
woeful years thirteen, and scream!
And so you’d
discovered – God knows how! Was it your beautiful
braininess again? – that my insanity had been perpetuated
by my real sense of loss: a man who’d spent the decade
grieving, and being led quite deliberately to see
his state was mad.
And all sorts of ideas flew right through my head
over those years, and I tell
you, dear C, that one thought was this: if ever I didn’t
quite take up your mother on stuff,
if ever I wasn’t sure whether change was the right,
it’s because in your mother I’d seen the spy I’d never been:
the spy who wasn’t; who would never choose
And I was clearly deluded – how could your mother be that?
only ever been with me for the me that certainly
in her presence. How could there be absolutely anything else?
How might there be forces
quite beyond curious ken – those forces in a land where
barbed wire closed down? A northern island
where labour was not: and a group of people battling fiercely for
another leader to emerge …
And what if I had been that leader in question?
What if I had been at the centre of plot?
Does that make me even madder than yous already said I was –
to even be able
to contemplate this lot?
Whatever the above, whatever the love, whatever the lies,
whatever the betrayal
that someone, somewhere might have committed,
I realise now what I really need of you,
dearest long-suffering, long-witnessing Claire, is
to accept me as I am in my bad and good;
to help me further good over the bad I can be;
to maybe one day be my friend again, if the bad hasn’t
hurt you too much.
But most of all, just to bear that good witness
to the change I will not
make out of brutish escape: I am here, right now, ready to
promise and understand
that it’s my sole job and responsibility to
review my strife:
and then to literally separate the future from the passed,
like that butter with gentle knife I’d love
one breakfast to
share with you, in beautiful
surrounding, in the fair city wherever,
tethered no longer to the
ex-lover who so hurt me when;
but maybe, if yes you do ever say,
anchored to the grandest gold, the bestest soul,
the finest heart a man could
never hope to earn the right to love:
in final, ultimate,