and with tongue or fingertip trace on your lover
the longest possible route to your favourite place
or your least favourite place
and imagine the aging of your beloved
detail by detail until there is nothing recognisable
except what cannot change
and with your memory follow the history
of all you have done together as a team of two
but only the work, not the pleasure
and with your anger itemise every hurt
and every transgression and every lie
that your lover has inflicted upon you.
and list everyone you love and who loves you
and admit it without pain exactly how brief
their grief at your death would endure.
and discover how little you know
of your beloved’s body and how little you care
at the loss of youth or beauty.
and discover how much or how little you shared
and how little you care about suffering
compared to what you have shared.
and discover how little you will be missed
by those who love you best and how little it matters
compared to the love that exists.
in the game of love and consider all these things
and if any of them are true
Edith Speers lives on a farm in southern Tasmania. Her poems and short stories have won many literary awards. Her work has been published in most of the Australian literary magazines, many anthologies, and several Canadian and American journals. She is the author of three books of poetry.