Is this the dregs of you,
the consumptive side of the moon
that never glazes the body of a lake
or softens the frame of a porch swing
where lovers risk all for a touch?
The cold cold dust of your grisly side
is not what we seek. But here, my proud soul
riven down and pressed against the flowering tree,
the depths of me suddenly wide as the wild world
and pledged to the beauty of the rushing blood,
now it’s clear that you are what I wish,
only you, Love – and so the hook goes in,
caught under rib or lid or lip and stuck
so that each kiss is also the absence of kiss,
each touch also cold implacable stone,
each endearment silence raging – grief
just there behind the wakened nerve.
Old bone bag, desolate hag of loss,
pity us that there’s no one without the other.
Love demands not fleeing the thinning blood,
the marrow going dry, the eyes’ coming dark,
the last coils of a quick mind fizzling out.
No opened heart without the heart closed down.
No teeth to love except I accept you gone.
Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 15, Issue 1.