‘the failure of communication. (–the gesture). …’ by Mark Bolsover

This poem is an extract from ‘In Failure & In Ruins: Dreams & Fragments’ by Mark Bolsover. Buy it here.

the failure of communication.
(—the gesture). …

touch.
(—the hand. … —a gesture…).

… —with V. … —the revelation that she made (to me). …
(—… when she… —opened up (so rare) to me…

sitting in the pub—the usual (—her table)…

gloom (—always)-slight, despite, outside (without), the daylight, remember. … —the pub.—empty (almost)… ). …

… —sat alone (together),—on opposite sides of the table. (from each other).

and when she told me… —how… hurt she looked…
(—the point of tears. … —holding (them) back. …).

and I wanted to comfort her, so badly…
(… —t’ ‘ve been able to…—take back (to ‘ve taken back)… -to ‘ve—undone the hurt (—taken it away (god-dam it)… —what’d happened.—what’d hurt her like that… )… ).

—and I felt… … —lost, (hmm.) (somehow) (—alienated—impotent-awkward),… —on the other side of the table. (—break.—a distance. … (impotent)). …

and—so I… moved round,—to (be able to) sit—next to her…

and I (tried to)—take (—to hold) her hand. …
(a—pathetic gesture, really. … … (—feeble. … …—childish—? (hmm.)… )—self-serving-selfish. … —? … ).

and the-that gesture, (somehow.—for some) was… —lost. … —failed (-failing.—fell… ).

and I moved,… —back around the table (round). …
(—she asked me to).

to sit.—opposite. …

—with H.

(when)—in Peru. …

… —having trekked,—for days,—through the Andes,… —along the Inca’s trail

before dawn.

climbing the last,—through the jungle (—rain – forest)… up that (steep) staircase (—set of steps),—to the sun – gate. …

—to watch the sun rise on-over Machu Picchu. …

—at dawn. …
(… —the sun (light)—bleeds down (—a wave…—falling) down the mountains (side), and on-to the temple…

… —and the stones of the temple glow. … —a soft (humid) white(-yellow) (—golden—?)—amber glow

—another form-sort of… revelation, I s’-pose…

… ).

moving, and beautiful—after the days in-of the rainforest—approaching (to) (—suspense (of sorts),—a crescendo (builds-building).—(a) culmination. (… —the goal-th’ boon. … (—the aim-purpose, always, of the Incas’ journey… …—religiouspilgrimage. ((the) sublime.)… ).

and, as the sun rose (—fell… ), and the temple glowed,… —I offered H. (—emotional) my hand (to hold)… (—solidari-camaraderie (—we have achieved—are here),… —comfort… … ).

… —and H. … —shook it. …

… —misunderstanding the gesture.

and so,—it fell flat. …

—the failure of the gesture. (—left… hanging. … —refused,… —aborted,… —misinterpreted. … ).

never—accepted.

—never consummated. (—realised). …

—the failure (—the,—impossibility) ‘v intimacy (true). …

—will I ever have been understood… —?
(—loved—? … ).