I promised to let you leave gracefully. You promised not to look back.
One of us lied.
Your footsteps kicked up dust in the yard. I followed you out, my fingers catching at your sleeve.
I will leave the door open for you. I will leave the porch light on.
My lover leaves her name outside my door
when evening gives us leisure to explore
the sounds between the silences, the stark
divide, the interplay of light and dark,
each night more daring than the night before.
And when I cannot tally anymore
the whispered count, the reckoning of scores,
I catalogue each kiss and every mark
my lover leaves.
At last she fetches wine and bids me pour;
she offers me her cup: one sip, no more.
And having kindled flame from love’s last spark
before the jaded warning of the lark,
my sheets like moonlight cast upon the floor,
my lover leaves.
I’m catching up on unfinished projects. This is a rondeau, which was the subject of yeah write’s May 2016 poetry slam.
Maybe tomorrow I will be made of magic. I will strike sparks from the sky with my fingertips. I will snatch sheep from the hillside where they graze. Tomorrow I will catch your gaze: a glint of light and then gone.
But today I am a fat lizard, all sinew and scales, contemplating a stone in the sun. I spread my limbs and scrape away lichen until it looks like me, that stone.
I watch, barely twitching an eye, waiting for a cricket to bound within reach of my tongue. I watch, I wait, and I think of dragons.
the sky—a held breath
somewhere a robin calls out
heralding the rain
I thought I had bundled myself against you, had sewn myself into this shroud and made myself untouchable. I thought you would not find a way back in.
It seems I left a button in your pocket, a knife, needle and thread.