For Michael Byrne...
I imagined I'd tracked you down
to one of those hellish concentration camps
in Hitler's nineteen-forties Germany. There,
in Nazi uniform, you stood observing
the mass genocide, your expression almost ecstatic.
Ice blue eyes, clear as the spring sky,
would perhaps meet mine. What then?
Would my blonde hair and pale complexion
save me from the inconceivable horror
inflicted upon my non Aryan contemporaries?
I'd assumed you'd be as brutal and inhumane
in real life too and therefore intensely disliked you.
So convincing you were up there on the screen
that I'd accepted as authentic a persona
well rehearsed - but then something else
in your eyes sent shivers of an altogether
different kind down my spine.
I'd inadvertently caught you unawares
before you'd had time to slip
into your chameleonic public image.
And the discovery was intoxicating:
a clean slate with your face on -
a smile so unexpectedly warm
that it took my breath away,
initiating an inexplicable infatuation.
Tell me, does it really matter
that I'm unknown to you, because
isn't absence claimed to be the heart's inspiration?
Observing your every role
has been the perfect antidote
to the isolation of life in lockdown,
vastly expanding my restricted world.
In the sleepless hours, I think of you
and search the darkness
for your face...😉