You occupy peeling paint shadows
in the corners of my mind
bent by sills collecting the sacred dust
of secrets long since held and forgotten
lighted by bourbon soaked lamps
of black iron and thick, hexagonal glass issuing
amber light through a small, antique window
held open by the flashlight we brought
to let in the rare, gracious breeze
carrying the song of an historic street.
We press into each dark promise,
the heat of night unforgiving
like the choice we make;
raucous waves of voices raised in transcendent praise
thankful for the night they will soon forget
to Dionysus they clamor
and their worship covers our indulgence
at her altar.
We do not choose our calamity,
but join in the song that was ever sung of us:
somewhere a trumpet
then a horn takes its place
soon the stomping gives us rhythm;
we pause into into into far into the eyes of the other
deeper we scope where we dared not before
lest we, brought to this temptation, fall hungry,
but having embraced the inevitable we plunge.
Another corner of your mouth invites mine.
You whisper words from 100 years ago:
If I knew that this would be the last time I would hear your voice,
I would take hold of each word to be able to hear it over and over again.
Then words brand into my neck with each hot breath,
new words never before spoken or repeated,
the glass house forsaken.
Your well-worn fingers are nimble and sure
never misplaced, ever finding their aim
an exploration long since rehearsed, though never on flesh.
You reach for dark corners tucked under tapered cotton
and find each crevice conforms to your touch.
A shriek of drunken laughter sings the descant of my moan.
This room is ours;
the wooden floor swells and squeaks as we spin
against the gray wall taking turns to carve the feast,
when the light catches your eyes my hungry heart pauses
taking you in and
exhales the free sigh of an impulse foretold,
To resist was then.
My bare foot finds a low, heavy chair
long since draped with white southern linen
over a lonely chaise in a forsaken room,
it holds my weight as I fold into yours.
We amuse the ghosts with our vibrant pulse
burning out what was left of our sustenance;
nothing pleases the dead more than
the foolishness of the living
for they covet our capriciousness
as they regret the risks they forsook.
I hear my name on your lips and am reborn
your hands forget their gentleness
and press into my shoulder pulling and pushing
my gaze further still,
the smell of liquor on your breath
fogs the look in your eyes I may never know
at the moment you release your soul to my domain,
I remember my promises, though some ought be called cowardice,
and see the world before me as it ever was