dear one, move your hands
from your eyes. place them with
your weary feet; your aching spine.
a harried gait and furrowed brow
will only take you from me the sooner,
so strip them from your body
as you did your rain-soaked clothes
and leave them by the door.
hang beside them any words of apology
you thought to string together
to match your late arrival.
we are the same, us two, and i see the sorrow
in the downturn of your cherry lips
the same as you read the smile in mine.
stretch out beside this lonely soul
and ease his troubled heart
a moment longer. keep it honest
in the palm of your hands. in lieu of alms,
or silver, or gold, i give you
psalms, murmured into the crook
of your neck, and promises pressed
to the bend of your knees.
your love could inspire the faithless,
so i study cartography
and try to read futures
in the spread of your veins.
in one, we are dying.
the flowers in your hair
are matted red from the fall of our fellows,
and my cheeks are flush with more
than the sort of blood that sings.
you speak of revolution with your final breath,
and i am drowning in it.
in another, we are ghosts —
several, women —
in two or three, we are lovers,
and those are the sort of comings
of which i could be persuaded to sing.
and this one? you ask,
eyes sparkling with mischief
as you drag me back down
into our shared bed.
i know not, i murmur, but i am smiling,
for if this is to be our last,
surely i would be remiss
if i did not distract
your clever, wanting mouth,
or aid your hands
in their devilish pursuits
let us leave the prophesying to visionaries and angels.
i would speak only of men, jehan.
i would speak only with you.