To Be Young and in Love in Middle Ireland

The girl from the satellite
town holds berries in the fast stream
supermarket queue.
She carries her longing like a stream of song,
her melody
a body over the boundary
of what is solid and what flows.

The guys in the depression-
hit town are tripping in the fruit
aisle. Falling for her
berry lightness they slip out
from their outlines. One guy says
she takes the form of a dream,
or the dream of a form.

On the page of the regional
night berries
pulse like the notes of a song
in the stream. The girl
who sheds the skin of her longing
escapes into more
longing.

In a dream on the margins
of town one of the guys
hears a girl sing, her voice
like strings,
a basket of ripe berries
floating into the night
on a stream.

The girl, the guy, in derelict
bedrooms hear lucent songs
undressing,
streaming from their outlines
through the boundaries
of town wrapping around them
the scent of fresh berries.

And I was the guy and the girl
was within
the page of the town
ever, over, after, never, the song
long, long, long, long.
The stream is slipped as the ground
you stand on.

Build houses out of song.
The berries are undressing.
The stream is long, gone, long.
The girl dreams a form of dream,
or forms a dream of form:
the boundaries of song in the night
undressed as a stream in the morning.

More Poems by Alan Gillis