Old friends, we scarcely speak of death or dying.
As ever, the displacements continue,
just as when we used to fail to get round
to speaking about love
or confined ourselves to giving it a mention
in letters — about which we didn’t speak.
Until I knew better, I thought
poets talked of such things,
but as we see they share
a guarded language of technical asides.
If someone treats their work as a strip-tease,
they back off, apparently confounded,
the action — the real conversation —
being somewhere else — but where?