Beyond the glass, wind whips oak leaves,
you appear in a sliver of light, cold as midnight,
slowly revealed like evening’s first star.
In semi-dark, you are merely a fox shadow—
pointed snout—silver limned whiskers.
Even so, I expect you to crawl into bed beside me,
warm as the stove’s pilot light without the singe
but you hover, flickering sparks over a bonfire.
Are you even here? With your smoke-breath
curling and rising—reminding me of childhood
mysteries—before the hunger of sex. I won’t wait
a moment longer for your comfort. You retreat—
down the stairs, out the door, into the alley
past the rusting junker car, wheel rims
sunk into tall grass. The night plods on.
I flaunt new gloves and a negligée. My widow’
weeds blossom vetch and clarion poppies.
I practice eulogies. You were a mere: a lake, a pond,
an arm of the sea crashing into a rocky shore.
You were a tadpole sprouting legs, a quiet drumroll,
a swell of swallows, your eyes shone
bright as the corona of an eclipse, bright as the clang
of horseshoes ringing on Five-Mile Line Road.
Halogen night floods my bedroom. Palmate leaves
clap, slash, and claw the windowpane.