a stone’s throw from lots
where talented Sharon Tate expired and Jim Morrison
fluttered psychedelic, fiery birds rising from the boulevard
of broken wings
We were huddled by the Campbell House bar
on the penultimate Monday of July
downing pint after pint of tepid water.
My first reading sober, your last one alive.
Is there another world for this frail dust
To warm with life and be itself again?
The way the world is not
astonished at you
it doesn’t blink a leaf
when we step from the house
Side by side, we dig in the withered flowerbed,
the sudden warmth, and once again you say, See
how much the light has shifted. I nod my head
at another changing season, our aching knees.
When you, that at this moment are to me
Dearer than words on paper, shall depart,
And be no more the warder of my heart…
Did she believe—she did, I think— the right
cliché could save us, help us not to feel
alone, so many bees in that same hive—
spilt milk, sow’s ear, Achilles heel.
She had forgotten how the August night
Was level as a lake beneath the moon,
In which she swam a little, losing sight