When first we faced and touching showed
there stood how much our meeting owed
to other meetings, other loves
The decades of a different life
Belonged to others, lavished, lost
Nor could I hold you hard enough
To call my years of hunger strife
Back for your mouth to colonize
Admitted: and the pain is real
But when did love not try to change
The world back to itself – no cost
No past, no people else at all –
Only what meeting made us feel
So new, and gentle-sharp, and strange?
Pictures by Margaret Kwan, poetry by Phillip Larkin.