Too Many Flesh Suppers

A poem by BS Johnson

And should she die tonight, 
with this three years’ difference as well between us now?

Or no, be maimed perhaps, 
and bearing  pain,  to live 
on damages for life?

In any case, I wish 
her no good, whom I loved 
as Brunel loved iron.

   Abstracted in art 
   in architecture,
   in scholars’ detail;

   absorbed by music, 
   by minutiae,
   by sad trivia:

   all to efface her, whom I can forget
   no more than breathing.

Knowledge of her was 
earned like miners’ pay:

afterwards I sought 
friends’ knowledge of her:

now I need to know 
nothing of this girl:

she whom I once knew 
as my tongue my mouth.

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