The third person
I do not know how to describe the third person but
on days when the doves came hurtling over the city
flung upwards in great purring armfuls outside your window
and fell, piling like black hail on ledges of buildings
across the street, he came in, he was there – let us
call him a man. He preened his purple feathers.
His eyes were brilliant, unblinking; he became
servant, interpreter, master and miracle-maker,
intricate designer of harmony out of
our broken fragments of love and confusion; I thought
you had summoned him for me, understanding
my weakness. I found him beautiful.
I came to you one cold evening in April,
the summer doves had flown, you were busy;
in the hard blue light the third person was very tall
and sharpened his steely claws meticulously.
When I showed my fear you moved slowly to stand beside him
and stared at me calmly without recognition.