In the glow of a rock lamp, the one you stole from a house party
when you thought no one was looking
several years ago, time folds over
stuffed under your shirt like an awkward tumor
you lean into me, bathed in rose
and breathing light
that still smells like our laughter
gin without tonic and a slice of lime
the skin on our teeth, our tongues wrestling
all the kisses we shared and the endless hurried promises of more to come
when we were locked together in the couple form
one body, one mind, many hands
grazing fingers that brush my collar, pull apart the buttons
enough to leave a trace,
a reminder that we were here at all
I remember our first time
as you look at me now, your softened gaze glazed and sharpened
parted lips
I sat on your lap in your temporary office
and between the books you lent me to read
we became a chimera
held together by your grip on my hips
and my arms around your neck
mostly clothed, conference wear couture, an errant panty hanging from my ankle
and your trousers undone, shirt untucked
when we made love to destroy it
amongst the sighs and moans, the panting and crying
whatever it was between us, irreparably changed
in the glow of the rock lamp, the light that has seen it all,
we are exposed, we are vulnerable
we see each other
but we look past it all
while the future falls at our feet
it is only one of many, you tell me
it is the fantasy of a good life
but it’s only good because of where I’m now
it’d be shit if I was happy to hear
a new girlfriend and how special she is
I don’t say that, but I wish I could
if only you didn’t give me advice
when I asked for tenderness, dolled out with a meat hammer
to unmake me a cocoon and into the salt
that might one day make up a new lamp
altogether

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