The Pact of Forgetting


Following an argument,

We went to look for war graves

Among black limbed olive groves,

Spindled in mist and rumours

Of a quiet atrocity.


Franco’s dead have no maps

Only places of unrest,

Lost in the dust of ditches

Attics and moth balled drawers.

A country widowed too young

(Then wedded to the killer).


Between the rasp of fat crows

Winter has many silences,

To which we added our own,

Tramping over the slow thaw,

Hunting for a massacre.


We interrogate the plot

With boots and sticks unearthing

Rusted caps of Cacaolat,

A jam jar of dead bees,

Japanese pornography,

A shrunken red wool mitten,

The wheel hub of a Citroen,

Shuffled bones of carrion,

And a shivering condom,

Limp ghost of love departed

Not long before our own.


Later we make food for hours.

Almodovar is on TV.

Hands redefine their gravity.

Quietly we both agree

Not to speak of it again.


Shortlisted in the 2013 Fish Publishing International Poetry Competition



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