Title: Urn

Author: Miro Bilbrough

In: Sport 10: Autumn 1993

Publication details: Fergus Barrowman, May 1993, Wellington

Part of: Sport

Keywords: Prose Literature

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Sport 10: Autumn 1993


page 38


You will rouse and turn and speaking across worlds begin. Night after night I am just part of the midnight landscape, little more than one half of a collective pronoun passing through the unnatural beauty of your dream: this is how deeply I am sown, deep in the pocket of my lover's sleep.

Dreams of mine you visit just three times. The first finds us strangers, then lovers within a lover's dream.

By the second dream you are a head laughing, advancing on a plate rejoicing as if you had cleaned the platter of some dark rich cake and planted yourself there instead, quick with life or is it death and laughing like a jackal.

Somewhere between the second and the third there is a no-man's-land from which it is impossible to speak, the tongues of lovers' confidences stopped. In the small hours of the night one or other of us may cross this solitary place crawling on stomachs from which the pit has been removed.

By the third you are stretched out, a white country so slender but so perfectly vast there is scant room for me at the edges of my dream.

The dreams gather and unite into a single bloom: one of those burial urns that rise in the sky above Bronte cemetery, strange flowers that rise from stony beds the scattered cards of death's hand. Have you seen them? Draped in marble cloth, ensheeted like the heads of Magritte's lovers turned aside from the kiss, sentient as only the blind. Once, going to visit the angels, I wandered through the cemetery and out of the corner of my eye these urns turned to stately disembodied heads.

I miss you that is the heart of it. My stomach is an urn of hot and cold ash. I fear your head that may or may not lead me to the country of smiles, your head rolling between the covers at the point of waking, newly arrived on the shores of daylight while I am still out there.