When the gray shaded imperceptibly into beige, fogbound in the overcast
afternoon of the world, you came and went, and I felt the ice-grip close my
In the brilliance of your passing, my tall tower burned to the ground, and that gray and endless afternoon I swept ashes and wept.
When you left, the softness of the world left me, when all the rounded corners
became angular and the flesh stiffened into iron, cold and indifferent, when
blood and semen alike coagulate into indifferent viscosity.
You alone could dull that sharpness.
You alone could encrust with rust the keen blade of your withdrawal.
You alone have the power of your age.
But you left.
And you remain.
You haunt my days and chill my dreams.
I see your face and I am stricken with love and regret, longing and sorrow too deep for crying.
Your face is with me, a ghost that politely declines exorcism.
You are there on the beach, under the hot noon daystar, in amongst the waves
and the laughter and the chaos, lurking just out of sight, so close to the
surface, never showing your signature.
You're there in the haunting sadness of the loon's cry, calling across that vacant afternoon marsh under the autumn clouds, a song in the key of minor.
You're there in the deep blue frozen twilight when the sun fades to a sullen orange smudge on the far western rim of the world, deep in the valley where the secrets lie.
You're there in the mountains,
you're there in the high places laid low by abrasion
and simple time.
My life is gone now.
I gave it to you in a moment, willingly allowing you to fill my bones with the cancer of the knowledge of good and evil.
Now I fall prostrate, bleeding; and in the dull red of my blood I see your face (only your face), returned to me as a ghost with a trail of memories to bind me to the place of your haunting.
I curse you and I love you and I find my tears on my cheeks cutting tracks through the sweetness and leaving a trail of bitter.
I want you back.
I never had you, and I want you back.
I can't have you, and I don't need you, and you are no good for me.
But I want, and I want, and I want,
and my desire goes through me like a tuning fork set to your pitch and your pitch only, your voice not yet adult and no longer that of a child.
My life is gone now, swept away in ashes, and I cannot follow your call.
You brought your unconscious fire to me in the gray afternoon.
Now I bow my head, and see, out of the corner of my eye, the onrushing black night.