The Forest City

Lovers

Photo: Fadil Elmansour

It’s been awhile since we were new
between white sheets
watching westerns and making
love and promises
we couldn’t keep from time.

Wagner fell with thunder
and your head fell back
in sweet surprise.

You fed me caviar
I fed you lies

You took me to a gypsy
who saw the truth
through cataracts.

You took me to a room
where music was decided.
You told me to be silent
but someone asked me what
I thought.

I said it made no sense to ask
when I had no knowledge
and no power.
They looked at you
and saw you cringe.

I looked at you and smiled
and lit my cigarette
in the automatic lighter in your car
on the way home.

You told me I was beauty.
You told me I was legend.

And so we were
on Wharncliffe Road
with the rain and teriyaki and
each other
riding dragons in the Skye
at seven in the morning
in the coolness of
the snow
as memories drift.

You read Mein Kampf to me
in a low Teutonic whisper that
melted into tears
like a doorway lost in Paris
back in 1942.

It’s not your fault.

I think of you sometimes
sipping Chivas in the bathtub.
My hair has fallen tangled
just the way you love
and the leaves have fallen golden
all around the wooden gate

but your key is in a river
on the Front.


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