Maria Gunnarsson

At the Edge
(Oslo, Friday 13 November 2015)

At the edge,
when we drink, dance, sing and laugh,
pushed away,
but tonight it has killed us,
while we drank, danced, sang and laughed,
with love.
You asked if you may sit at our table
and we said, please.
After another round,
the four of us witty, funny and flirty,
when the musicians returned from their break
announcing it was happening:
a massacre.
As you sang to me “I’m on fire” and I danced,
we were already dead,
and I wanted you to sing louder,
and I danced even more vivaciously.
When your hand slipped into mine,
lingering for a moment before mine withdrew,
we were dead,
and realising,
I wanted your hand back in mine,
It was too late before it could even begin;
it killed us tonight while we were living.
I wanted more drinks, dancing, singing and laughter,
intensely vibrating,
but I wasn’t hungry;
how could I eat kebab after death when I don’t in life,
like you tried,
but then you said it didn’t taste good.
We knew we would never see each other again;
though we set a place and time for tomorrow;
neither of us would be there;
it was this night only,
and we hugged goodbye forever;
you held on for the briefest moment.
I did too.
We could have made love tonight,
but we saved it for others,
when we had nothing to lose,
except maybe you did;
not I,
just regret,
for the pain was already there,
before we were brutally slaughtered.
Our bodies intertwined would have been good,
our rhythm alone mattered this night,
though we knew nothing about the other,
we never do;
this was enough.
We drank, danced, sang and laughed,
with love
in our fated encounter,
in the beat of the night we were killed,
but we didn’t make love;
no second chance,
for we died in Paris tonight.


A tribute to all who died in Paris,
13th December 2015.