I looked for you everywhere
except the place I knew you’d
stay. Then I stopped looking.
Even your face escapes me,
the way silk orchids in amber
shadows seem real. All the same,
your scent is common—mostly
at the gym, on the bus: lake
shallows in midsummer, night
wind of piss and skin. With hands
behind your nape, you lied
on folded wings, ivory water lilies
drifting, moonlit, round your lobes
like earrings. Get up from there,
is all I could say, not meaning it
exactly—and yet, you stood up.
Late snow gathers on the pane,
so unforeseen that, when it slacks,
just as sudden as it began, there’s
birdsong—staccato; or ruptured;
or the underlife they share, for what
difference does difference make?—
in dingy half-light. According to our
hymn, for which I recall the words,
not the melody, we’re tossed and driven
on the restless sea of time, and somehow
we’ll come to wisdom. I assume
you’re in the lead (sainted by now)
but the song doesn’t promise an end.
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