The Ring

for Pete and Ana James



And if I said a part of me

leapt from a skyscraper

as I took your trembling finger

that would be utterly true,


each tiny syllable detonating

in my throat: forsaking;

till death; who had kept

a promise once, a week,


then dined out on the story

with whoever would listen.

Your beaming smile had none of it:

Don’t say a word you can’t mean.


Sounding twelve and looking it

I jammed the ring onto you,

knowing nothing of honesty

except you honestly looked gorgeous.


So believe me when I say

I would stand and face you again,

promise everything a second time,

this time to savour the words.