Dry Eyes

I must have been 18 when I wrote ‘Dry Eyes’ because I remember having a certain girlfriend (O) at the time. This wasn’t knowingly written about O, but she was the person in my mind’s eye when envisaging the subject of the poem.


The droplet that ran over your shoulder
And down your spine
Left a silver train behind,
The slug of water.

It wasn’t raining –
Was it a tear
Tearing across your skin?
Some symbol of sorrow
Sorrowfully symbolising some
Strange strain on the senses?

Yet I saw no sadness in these eyes,
Nor a gleeful twinkle,
Nor any emotion at all,
Simply a droplet
Sliding down your back.


In retrospect, I can see how my relationship at the time inspired a poem so filled with and lacking in emotion. It was a strange relationship, ended (by her) with little reason given and little remorse, when only a week beforehand one of her best friends had told me how much happier O seemed with me in her life. It was a time of confusion and strange new emotions, and O could swim happily between emotional outpouring and coldness. Perhaps that inspired ‘Dry Eyes’.


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