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lovers - tahiti

She offers you shadow.

Not darkness, too heavy.

But shadow, gentle light

grayed rolls of silk, they drape

every problem. Look:

the way the loft is unlit.

The window panes - their

pale rectangles of light

as the two of your move

together. Lovers. That

word sticks in the throat.

You want to say it is more

than this because it is.

But to say so means to

forsake one other. To

forsake and untake me.

She is dark. Hair

slick and thick as oil.

It clings to everything.

Falls to your face when

she leans, when you kiss,

how dark on the pillow,

a dark tent, falls behind

her. A beauty you think

like Gauguin’s Tahitians.

Why this? Why her?

She is your just reward.

She is the treat for the troubles,

the worries, near death

the holy mess that all of it

made. Too much.

At last, another understands.

No demands. None spoken

anyway. Only another who

can see the carefree affect

that is part of the show.

Daily you want her.

Daily you puzzle a means

to an end in which no-one

is hurt. Both loyalist and cheat.

Betray me but save me.

I will live to see this pain.

Already, I feel it. Sense it,

an awful storm, it comes

from the sea – my sea that

I loved that I trusted and bathed in.

You think I have not noticed:

the I love yous unspoken.

Desire – mere token.

Passion becomes routine,

hardly passion at all but

a show for the crowd.

Some ritual to prove

all is well until the day

at last comes. Your ducks

in their rows. Ready. Set. Go!

You love me of course

And we’ve tried and etc

The usual lies about

differences irreconcilable

a term nobody uses

except now.

I will not fight.

I will not cry. Not to you, anyway.

I will sit still and listen,

wait for the gentle coo

of the mourning dove

and know that never

was I right. Imperfect,

pale, a remainder on sale,

a practice big love before

the real deal arrived and

you will talk about papers,

lawyers and all and reassure

me that you’ll be there

if I fall. None of it will matter.

After that awful day I will die.

Or perhaps I’ll live one more

be everything I never was –

be pretty and perfect

a harlot and whore. I’ll

kiss all the boys and think

of you when I do it. And

later, later, I’ll see the sorrow

in this and I’ll write four

words then end it.

Please, call my doctor.

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