On a morning in Lent, dense with rain,
even with the wipers going it’s not easy
to see the Amu Darya.

You promised so much:
tall herons like statues guarding
reed beds; the stark concrete slope of the dam.

We should both be at work, trying
to make other people rich, not talking
about Rembrandt and miracles.

The car is borrowed
and you bought the flask
in Kiev, on a day much sunnier than this.

When you unscrew its lid,
steam from your favourite jasmine tea swathes
mist across your glasses.

You take them off. It’s a shock
to be kissed, to see your eyes

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