FOR MARIANNE

 

Sunlight from the glass

Makes your skin the color of sand

And as I admire your shadows,

Following their frayed edges with a finger

Across shoulder, down the slope of breast

To your nipple,

I find the canyon between us,

The river that runs dark and deep

Even in the day.

The music you put on

Invokes a year when I was sixteen

And you were twenty-four,

And you squint to imagine

How I might have looked.

I was skinnier,

And when framed by thick sun,

The blonde strands in my hair

Caught the light like the gray does.

You want to know if,

At sixteen, I had imagined this.

At sixteen, I would lean into the glowing glass,

And mix the dust particles slowly,

Conducting the silence, without effort.

There are no dreams at all when you’re in the spotlight

And warm.

No dreams at all if you are the mountain.

If I could consider

Bright squares stretching across tables,

Or inching from couch to carpet,

I might mourn the time lost,

The years of motionlessness

In the sun,

But I am of the sand itself

And cannot cry.

Reaching to caress your cheek,

And finding your eyes in the glare,

I hope you too have come up to this place

For the calm glory,

And to warm those parts which aren’t shadow.

I would be happy

To have found another reptilian soul

On the baked surface of the afternoon.