Lightning struck the tree in the neighbors yard,
Last year in the midsummer’s knife we dreamed of storms
Laughing now, loving how Ions sweeten the air.
As slowly you bend to greet the wind, a genuflection of retort,
Dull August sunshine laughing back – the cumulonimbus roll by.
The wind picks up sticks, twigs, leaves.
Heavy air transfers electric waves and static. The radio plays:
‘Hold it right there if you move my station won’t come in tonight.’
I sweat for doing this too often too much. You won’t feel the dampness of me.
My neck white and wet, cleaved by a hammer and chisel and standing,
Feet dug into gritty land and soil.
I hoped you’d dream of me,
And remember more than an unexpected, expensive side trip.
Yesterday, to save the hung out whites I employ old wives tales.
Then you recall scents of chlorine and lyme,
Rung out and out to dry in the midwestern sun.
Though I knew anything could cement this offering,
But my ivy hair clung to my neck as I wave you on.
Years ago, I recall, you waved from a sedentary yet strategic position
On the board where you took my queen and laughed like a boy,
On his seventh birthday with a whole sweet buttercream cake.
This morning my fingers wrapped around yours, with their crescent white nails.
You hung up my camel coat on the rack in the station by a black over painted door.
No signs to tell us about things like ‘open’ or ‘closed’ – can you remember what language?
A sweet cafe sent steaming hot streams of vines climbing the grey sky
Through chimneys on a grey, closed in morning, bowls of cafe au lait.
Longer still, your mind, awash with mercurial dreams of, well what then?
Warm lunchtimes in coastal unpronounceable towns.
Sleepy swollen people lined the streets with daydreams and
A few with somnambulant nightmares.
We never napped.
In those days anyway – my god,
The sights endless d o p p l e r effected photographs my mind takes in
The sights soundless clouds of brand new cameras clicking
Sticking to your side like the eight year old child who begged
For a dollar, a single US dollar for a tour of the red capital.
Please, I ask you please to stop and rest a while and
The dark deed of the night gave you away like that dollar.
You left me on the train alone and frayed,
And my clothes loosely hung from my bent shoulders.
You took me one night to a vapid blind wine tasting.
Paper bags. Covered pots of everyone’s best try.
We make up words like lilac and lively
Plummy and chewy and spit out into tin bins.
It’s okay to spit now you say as you violently express streams of purple.
Blue red out of your mouth like a bullet into a practice target dummy.
So I’ve got to get going. Get nails into the wall and hang our memories
The one of you I have so vividly and hammered into my hands and feet.
Oh, you believe I’m not really understanding who that man belonged to,
The white sheets hang on the windless day on the hillside of the coast
No lightning here, no thunder, don’t worry you say.