John Tustin



We had so few nights together

Over those years

That it’s almost as if

I can remember each one individually

And totally.

Almost, but I don’t.

The nights mix together like paint and flow away,

Running down the drain from a rinsed brush.


I recall nights when it was raining or snowing

And nights when the moon almost burst in

Through the window.

I can see moments in my mind

In three different houses

And they all run together in my thoughts.

Walking out of a restaurant

Or driving from her mother’s place to mine.

It’s more about reliving the feelings I felt

From moment to moment -

As she looked at me from across the table

Or how her legs looked in those long socks

As she sat there in her t-shirt and panties

And I tried to concentrate on what she was saying.


My mattress was on the floor.

Watching her sleep there is what I remember most.

The warmth inside myself of this complete love,

This utter certainty

That I have not felt before

Or since.

The false warmth inside myself

That told me as long as I stood upright

Everything in life would have to work out.


I had a dream about her this morning

For the first time in a long time.

She kept shuttling me from room to room

In an almost empty apartment

In order to hide me from various visitors.

I don’t need a therapist to figure this one out.

I wake up and it’s light outside.

I go to the mirror and I look so much uglier

Than I did when we were together

Or maybe I’m just noticing it now.

The walls themselves seem to writhe in pain

As if they are being burned by the light coming in

And I go back to bed, my nice cool bed,

Lying on my belly and trying to forget

All of the things that I’ve just told you.

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