“…she is making him bold
with her words, her coal-eyed
lashes settling on her cheeks in that way,
that way that makes him
believe he can do anything,
be anything she’d ask of him.
But he is careful,
she is not what she seems.
Not that she can do anything but be honest.
That’s the problem,
her honesty. With those eyes,
sighs, thighs, she seems strong,
Delightful, her laugh.
But she is not his.
A sporadic yielding, rootless,
deceives him every time.
When she whispers his name — just
his name — in that sing-song whisper,
that just-so craving she makes,
takes, breaks the subtle corners of his life.
Not so subtle. The corners he finds
himself creasing around, making,
taking, breaking his life into those
moments. They’ve come to be his life.
But not hers…
And there is that thirst, that dry-throated
thirst for more than water, as if maybe
the air offered him to breathe
is less than enough.
When she’s here, though,
it’s more than enough
and he swallows her whole
as if she might vanish before
he can breathe again.
In pieces other times,
as if her delicacies are too
rich for his palate;–
that’s when her stories spill
dark, spiced into the inky air.
“We clutter our own outcomes,”
she’ll say, mid-sentence.
That’s his cue.
She slips into her coat, —
black, paisley, —
out the door, her last kiss still
lingering on his lips.
He won’t watch her though, as
she walks down the wet street.
Her eyes (those coal-black gestures
of honesty) he knows, mirror
the watery skies,
melt with the same intensity.
She isn’t and never can be, his…”
~from “THE NIGHT OF A THOUSAND TALES”