They taught you to do everything really properly.
Playing obediently, you became used
to the safe places which one day would fail you.
Order is as dangerous as disorder,
they are the locked rooms of childhood
and at the same time the draughts, the slamming doors
in a house where nobody now lives.
With a shy smile you come from a long way off,
from your peaceful black and white world
with a mother and a coal-burning stove
and a gallery with thin window glass
through which the heat of one weather escaped
towards the cold blue sky of an island courtyard.
You started to become used
to not trusting yourself. To not knowing
you had done something wrong so that you could come back
with swearwords you didn’t utter
and scornful gestures that weren’t you.
Loving is something you did well,
but as for life, how much death it brought
to your hard eyes which now have gone back
to expressing the shy tenderness
of that well-behaved girl in black and white
who learned to do everything properly and well,
so that she could save our love all these years later.