Keeper of empires

the artist turns softly in his sleep          blonde hair resting against
the lillies on my pillowcase          & I wish I could
let my body fall from its defensive pose          & love him back.

he tells me that he loves my strength          the way that in
a laugh I could extinguish the world & instead
of telling him that this is just          the gauze I hide
my frailty behind          I pretend to be asleep;

dreaming of empires and revolution          the girl
who extinguishes silence with sound          and sound
with silence          the world set alight with fire and rage

but only frailty.          I let him go.
his smell interlaced in my fingers          follows me
into the city I do not yet          know how to love.

his body is lost to mine          the lillies do not remember his
dear caresses          & I mean to call him but
his voice does not remember how to answer mine.

I crave him when I walk          through tower blocks
unguarded          and through solitary fields where trees
obscure the sky          I stay inside my head unprotected
from myself          & his memory guards me as
I drift in and out of sleep.

By Miriam Partington

Miriam is a British writer living in Berlin who is passionate about literature, art and culture. Her hobbies include drinking overpriced coffee in cafes, ambling through scenic parks on sunny days and singing jazz and blues.