Let Me Forget

by Stephen Edgar

You run your eyes across the glossy
Lithography of paradise: the sand’s
White gold, the opaline transparent blue
You’ll soon be lolling in, a sky unmarred
And constant to the limits of the view—
All in your hands.
You take the tickets, pass your credit card.

Behind that door, like Cavaradossi,
If you could hear above your heart’s content,
Blindfold and bound,
A stranger fastened to an implement
Appeals for mercy with the world’s worst sound.

Your wife has bought the extra virgin
Inflected with a subtle trace of lime,
The milk-fed veal, as tender as herself,
The chicken livers, the King Island cream—
It seems a pity to omit a shelf—
The chives, the thyme;
And there’s her shopping voucher to redeem.

Behind that door, it is no surgeon
Who makes the live incision, or instils
Into the eyes
Of some mute animal the caustic mils,
Or monitors its functions as it dies.

So home you both go, your attention
Diverted now towards the holiday
In prospect, now the meal tonight, your friends,
Problems with Chloe, and the arbitrage
Absorbing you at work, on which depends
The tax you’ll pay.
You park the Merc before the locked garage.

Behind that door, past comprehension,
Beyond imagining, the universe;
The laws upon
Whose unknown code the selves that you rehearse
From day to day are based; oblivion.

So much you’ve failed to see or mention.
But you’ve no guilt to own to or dispel.
Each day you take
This anaesthetic and it keeps you well
To face the day you could not face awake.

First published in Mascara Literary Review. History of the Day (2009) and Other Summers (2006) can be ordered online from Black Pepper Publishing at http://users.vic.chariot.net.au/~bpepper/