Happiness | edwin morgan
Oh how far is happiness. At night,
sometimes, often, when we stretch our arms
towards it, when we are alone
and even when we are not alone
and do not find it.
Where is it to be found?
There are those who would deny it, but
I do not think they command us.
One long absent, lost, will phone
abruptly, crackling over a bad line,
graceless yet tentative, drunk, washing
then clear and deadly, full of memory,
apology, joke, plea, boast —
‘Ah’m gonny sign the pledge the morra.’
‘That’ll be right.’ ‘An animal,
Ah know Ah’m an animal when Ah’m drunk.’
‘Threatened to kill me last time, remember?’
(And meant it, jabbing my chest with your
‘Kill, you know kill, K.I.L.L.’
— steaming. Why phone, then, be sorry?)
‘Ah wahnt tae see ye.’ My scalp contracts,
the phone sweats in my hand, yet somewhere
I’m loosened, melted, knowing his violence
to be his love, which I cannot reject.
It seems as if, it really really
looks as if this must be happiness.
I put the phone down. How to sleep now?