thYou lost your grip on reality around the same time
my own dalliance with death disturbed the rafters
my shoulders of a man, yours of a sparrow
we danced around amber whiskey bottles
setting fire to tarmac
lifting our skirts before silver ash enveloped us
but maybe I didn’t clean my feet well enough
you began to tremble in the morning
and I found I could not move
it was as if a deer had been startled
standing quite still in dried grass
he was frozen in situ
for a time I wanted to break out
resume merriment and three penny carnival
until the feeling of falling inside
behind the bones of your face
where all emotion blanches and traces
secrets and lies
became my norm
I did not know anymore
how to stir cocktails of polite acquaintance
or make small talk trace like sleepy snails
I did not know anymore
what became of my social graces
pinned and folded beneath me like taffeta
it gave me comfort to
lose my art of conversation
the yawning maw of fraternization
I listened to words and they did not
beckon me come closer
I felt as strange as the outdoor moth
who half wishes he did not
slap against warm glass trying to
eat the light
for it is not you he seeks
but the burn and blitz of some fantastic
singeing his wings in tattoo
and I too
had always yearned for that feeling
never discovered among the feeding troughs
of social intercourse
and once or twice I left
a full and heaving party
to lift my legs for a stranger in
cramped confine
because the hard bang and knock of his
emptying wood was
more honest than all the winks and nods
whispering behind my back
I no longer needed to use
only three ever necessary
I love you
though now you are smudged out
by burn of cinders staining toes
gone as cold as foggy morning
selecting mute I retraced my arc
pushed myself back beneath my bones
within the temple
within the woods
where the deer finally moved
from her camouflage and
sprinted light as powder
into converging dark