The heavy mask of heat was lifted; here
the cold stone smelt of colleges, and all
moved quietly and strangely as a star:
silence one broke, daring to be or feel.
And then the flowering of your room, as if
out of a dream, or from a future life;
and speech as hard as if at a farewell.
Selves were intruders behind time or glass:
no vision, yet a stranger, smiled at me;
and common things were like an alien Mass:
the ritual of talk, of cake, of tea,
world's acts and images, were all pretence
- living in history, and pathetic, since
unreal, like a wedding of the sea.
Oh strange and shuttered, being masked in being,
mask in mask; where, like strangers in a lift,
pity and love looked on, nor dared set blowing
the cold winds of emotion or of gift.
Glass garden, and a sweetness not to break
with nakedness of stripping earth from rock,
where past was violence, and future theft.
Pause at the door was knowing which was true:
summer was helpless as a foreign guest.
Here was assurance, your whole world and you
as warm as fruits: the white fig of a breast,
your private family of dolls and roses,
and the last image, breasts of grapes like bruises.
But parting was as if two portraits kissed.