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Pentimento


We locked eye beams and were stricken

with the madness of the gods, so we talked

about starting a family.  It was memorable,

as memory often is, and somewhere in the haze

that lingers between here and there, now and then,

a corner was turned and part of me became part of her

and we became adjoining countries seen from space,

no borders scribed in the ground to tell us apart.


She stood lightly on the land, as if the world

were made to be a grassy road before her feet,  

but she was a rose, rooted, multifoliate,

with a stem that flows down into the shadows

of its own petals and leaves, where everything vanishes

into the blackness, as her roots disappeared

into a blackness deep as Death who only visits,

never stays for drinks and snacks, whose disappearing act

is a cruel prank played at everyone's expense,

including my own.  But I trusted her

and her warm reply, "Yes, three kids."


Three years we were together, yet still alone.

But hope is born when all is forlorn,

and its inspiration took her to the crest

of Melpomene Hill to raise her skirts

to the wind.  And that was when the dove

sank its talons into her sides, she said,

and pinned her to the rocky ground, she said,

and used her there, and left her there, fragile

as a glass earring fallen to a cobbled road,

glittering in the cold dawn's dew, shivering in fear

of a final footfall.  But before it fell,

she gave my world a boy.





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