Wuthering Heights

A poem an old friend wrote about me and an ex boyfriend of mine.

Wuthering Heights

Confirmed by Emily Brönte, you would
lie on the moors at Top Withens
cursing the Spring for being calm, and
laying closer, as the rain
bled your colours into eachother, and
onto the purple / green heather.
In dimmer light, his silver cufflinks
would glow, lost in the white of a
folded French-cuff, and hands which
seemed unnaturally soft for a psychopath
as – like radioactive rays – they sank
into your bones.

I’ll never know what those old bricks saw
what kind of antiquity crumbles with the
legend of you both, and I don’t need
to know. The grass on the path up to
Withens is dead in sodden ground,
thistles bursting upward into pregnant,
heavy clouds. For three days in a row,
it was too natural to ignore
that the cool day’s blue air was calling
Cathy, Cathy, Cathy
as one of the king’s thousand faces
would glow behind a Marlboro Red.

All day you held hands, obsessing
how they interlocked and tickled
it just seemed to fit together like a
sister and her brother, and the heath-grass
worried with the  ghosts that peered
beneath you. His speech was fluid
then, and his cold eyes tepefied
upon each of your tender words,
and time would run back into itself for years
as a husband told his wife about his
electroconvulsive therapy, and the
evening’s bitter air was hushing:
Heathcliff, Heathcliff, Heathcliff.

And Heathcliff drove you home the
long way around, keeping his shortcuts
to himself, as he saw your sheer, black
legs swinging in the footwell, your
seatbelt pulled tight against your breast.
As complex as any creation, he wasn’t
yet thirty and you were just twenty one.
Once the eyes behind his glasses, once
the beating heart that flutters behind the
cotton of his shirt, where your head would rest
it is hard to ignore the softness on your cheek
and it was hard to ignore that this beautiful
man was yours to be taken, as you
ate banquets in the heather, as you out-drank
the gods themselves, as even the air
stopped on its own course, to be in awe
of you both.

Top Withens, wuthering through its corners
and I’m sure nobody minded when you
admitted you were too shy to tell him
what you really thought, and he
too stubborn to ask. Meanwhile, the gentle
clip of his Southern vowels would lovingly
mock the Northern measure in each
cadence of your breath and every
argument in that five years was a
shining jewel in the king’s one thousand
crowns that never shone the same way
twice, but every glare would leave you
sleepless. I woke to find him brooding
over coffee in the dead night, and the insistent
air would whisper: Cathy, Cathy, Cathy.

Here you dampen your pillow with
silent heaves, holding one close to your
chest and remember lying on the moors
and the defiance of the Summer would
tease with: Heathcliff, Heathcliff, Heathcliff
but it was only ever love that led you here
flighty, dumb and fair just like the
Yorkshire winds that haunt me when I’m
thinking of you both, and from my bedroom
window I see your playground. And sometimes
I think I see you both lying in the  grass
wrapped up around your Wuthering Heights
and I wonder what Emily Brönte would have done
had she known you two would exist.


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