My mind is your screened porch.
You sit in my imagination
on the daybed, reading.
The outside door inaudibly taps it’s frame.
Wind moves slowly in the trees,
almost overborne by freeway sounds.
My mind is your dining table.
You glance up at me,
unable to hold gaze for long.
The candles flicker, we taste our wine.
I feel heat pouring from you,
your desire, your reticence.
My mind is your bed.
I trace the hollow of your back
fingers brushing your skin.
Time slows, then resumes.
Outside this space, birds
sing, flutter, fly.
My mind is our space together.
Between us lies transient lily pads.
We walk across them, feet submerged,
almost falling into the pond.
Flowers open, close, we continue.
Everything stretches out ahead.
My mind can only barely contain
the thoughts of you, the touches of you,
the ways you open me, willing or not;
the impossible peace
being with you has created,
unexpected, cherished, my being remade.
My skin remembers yours
the way a puddle remembers the storm,
the way a shaving remembers the chisel,
rememberings that are not thoughts,
your back to my hand, your head to my shoulder.
My hand remembers yours
the way a pecan remembers the husk,
the way a chameleon remembers its color.
My lips remembers yours
the way an apple remembers the branch,
the way a cloud remembers the ocean,
the taste of you, sharp and sweet,
heels pressing my back.
My eyes remember yours
looking up through your hair, silver and purple,
the way an owl remembers the vole,
the way a sumac berry remembers its own tartness.
My heart remembers yours
the way a pinion remembers the wing,
the way this poem remembers, dimly,
your inconceivable wholeness.
Firsts stick in memory. My first kiss, Cynthia Sims, sitting on the piano bench in the house of my upbringing with all the adults in another room; the first mountain I climbed, Granite mountain, with my lover and about-to-be second wife, at the outset of 28 years filled first with love and companionship, only much later with terror, anguish, scars, recriminations; my first ever fish, caught at age 9, my first sex with Sharon at 18; and, on September 1st, 2020, in the middle night, within the bud of a soul-shattering year, while the long-late Townes sings in my ear 'If you needed me' at age almost 61, the first ever time someone, no, not just someone, my someone, lying in her bed a few miles away, me lying here in mine, said to me, in text on a dim phone screen, I adore you.
You have a difficult time looking at me; your past made certain of that, eye to eye too close to danger. I have to find signs in other places: your hand on mine in the night; the way you tremble when your desire rises; a text after hours inquiring about my day. Only at pillow distance do I get your eyes. Only when our skin connects do I get your heart. Only is enough.