And, If I Could And, if I could, I’d sing my love with unicorns in chains of flowers, With endless oceans greyly battering by misty moors, With joyful hunting dogs with muddy paws, With soft spring showers – With anything eternal, wistful, happy, sad. But all my dogs inside are snapping, yapping, mad, My showers are wintry, my sea-shores are lined With unkind tourists drinking bourbon, And unicorns are dead, and flowers suburban. And, if I could, I’d steal my love on midnight horse and overseas, To city-sacking buccaneering round the reckless earth, Settle at last to farm some quiet firth: Goats, orchards, bees; Explosive starts, wild-beating hearts, and peace at last. But ungeared fantasies spin lies torn from the past: I’m a slum-quarter city-sprouting weed, My planted seeds die in deserted gardens, My wandering’s my weak will; and my heart hardens. And, if I could, I’d love my love with wayside flowers, fresh fruit, a kiss, With secondhand-in-hand shops’ dazzling, puzzling oddities, With evening at the theater or a fair, With wordless stare, With dreams and smiles, and laughter at my foolishness. But all my city streets are drizzle and drains, not bliss; Traipsing to shows and shops is soul-destroying, And, toying with my rural lie, Commitment-scared, I flee the searching Eye. And, if I could, I’d give my love all children, chosen and our own: Their love – their moody silences – their smiles like wind and sun – Their seashell searching – riots – sense of fun – Pregnant to grown We’d share kaleidoscope Life’s spectrum-brilliant rays. But I drift unfamiliar down decaying days Where trees are concrete and the ground is stone, Bemoan I knew but left that love… And, if I could, you know I’d have my love.
Anglo-Danish by birth but Bahamian by upbringing, Robin Helweg-Larsen has been published in Alabama Literary Review, Allegro, Ambit, Amsterdam Quarterly, Pulsebeat and other international journals. He is Series Editor for Sampson Low’s ‘Potcake Chapbooks – Form in Formless Times’, and blogs at formalverse.com from his hometown of Governor’s Harbour.