I didn’t think it would be as hard as this…the pain, the utter loneliness,
I can see now why they give up and say goodbye to life, some;
before I thought it was moral clumsiness
or the selfish look at me, remember me
that led them to that tragic end.
Your pan – your bread, my bara,what we feed on, the symbol of yearning,
of love in times of cholera,
love in times of Covid,
the crumbs of the loveless age,
2,000 and 20.
I stare at this screen thinkingof you so eternally far away,
from your emails
you’ve given up I see, hope drained from you
like a bloodletting.
Socially distanced by choice, by an eternity;I still talk to you in my head,
point out things on my walks alone
though you aren’t here and can never return
to me or our past, and yet
your pan – your bread, your Brot, my bara,
we still feed on, the crumbs,
the illusion of an end to all this.
Only nostalgia of an always better past,ironically rewritten, despite ourselves,
despite the world,
despite the idiot you know me to be,
and the oft pointlessness, the mundane,
the future-less tomorrows.
Being young, you must die one time,you must live with that.
the utter pain of that;
realise life is what it is, cope with the now…
To have loved and died and yet survived,
to live and love and die in pain again, yet again…
I know why they put an end to this, some,you, me now too,
on the verge, thinking about the last day the relief.
Then again there’s that doubt, no, that hope,
that weakness that keeps us both
going, despite the anguish, the loneliness.
We were drunks, back then, and did as drunks do,the intake, the silliness, the breaking of things,
then the hangovers like bricks in the face,
the sight of each other unbearable all morning
until a new bottle opened itself…
I think back to when we made love, or tried or failed,of when we cried, or tried or failed,
of when we drove and got lost and didn’t care,
of naked midnight swims,
of showing you the nooks and crannies of France,
you of Spain to me,
of going up Welsh mountains – you found small
but beautiful, like me, you said, you charmer.
Of when we stole – or cheated on each other,
of when we made each other laugh all day long,
of when we wanted to try again,
until realising what we were, failures…
And of brief moments of absolute pleasure.
Of brief moments of passion,
of moments of loving each other, although brief,
of moments of grief, of ecstasy, of voyeuristic joy
on the beach at sunrise, alone the two…
I loved you then, you me,like puppies on heat before the fall,
before the realisation of life,
before the reality of being;
what is love for the self-absorbed?
Walking to your place, through windy streets,where was that? Berlin, Barcelona, Brecon even?
You phoned to cancel, my presence, you said,
didn’t feel quite right, right now.You said, there’s this agony, the tortureof having to breathe,
it’s not the hours, it’s every single bloody
minute; the thought comes, how,
why always this pain of living?
And then the downfall, the separation,the parting of ways, our countries far,
lost now and light years away,
and the hurt of this, unendurable for me – I must confess…
There’s now that choice of moral clumsiness,ever present these days, Bible dark, black, medieval,
these modern days, the tech, the endgame times
and also – always for us, the survivors – there remains the misery
to endure, and this utter, utter loneliness.
© Aneurin Gareth Thomas 2020
His most recent, Madrid-based novel, Melancholic Avenue (2019) is available from:
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