She sat in shadows.
We talked about violins.
The night was heavy and sweet
and tasted of blancmange.
I needed her touch and so I touched.
Then her bracelet fell off in the japonicas
and, when I searched in the dark,
a bee stung.
Her cocker spaniel shed hair everywhere.
And she fed a solid white Siberian who also stayed.
She was manifest in my life from our first touch.
She was manifest, her clock on the wall, her clothes.
She grew to know why I hobbled up the porch stairs,
why I slept away the middle of the day.
She knew why a gypsy guitar would keep me from sleep,
why I would get drunk on scuppernong wine
and sing Spanish songs badly,
sing those Spanish songs sadly,
then take a piss outside beneath the heavenly tree.
And sometimes I would turn on all the lights bright,
blast the stereo loud, the television set,
and the dog would run, the dog would bark,
the cat would jump and disappear,
and I would grab her ass and I would dance,
I could hear her heart beat wildly against mine,
her eyes were so wide and
wider when I told her everything.
We would end up in the shower fully clothed
with her wiping the water away from my face.
Then Spring, against a wall colored violet wisteria,
on a bench eating black olive sandwiches,
cream cheese slathered liberally with orange marmalade.
I saw her clearly in the sun and I was ashamed.
Most of my venom was gone.
I was ashamed for I no longer needed her touch.
Impossible tasks are always left undone,
even with the best of intentions
the insurmountable will not be overcome,
try, try as you might, in some situations
some manifestations become insuperable
and hope is abandoned to hopeless abandon
in the wake of a tragic and broken down trust.
When a stuffed mattress is plundered of all softness,
hollowed out of the plush in order to sleep swaddled
in warmth, swathed in safety and creature comforts,
eventually the morning will come when, in spite
of a manufactured domestic docility, all that remains
is the scattered destruction of this bed you sleep upon
and the unraveling stitch of the chintz pillows.
Oh Ashley, ash ash, lets not rehash the memory.
When you asked me why, I was more than honorable.
I told you true, we are made to love whom we love
but only sometimes are we ever truly loved.
Now relish your surname née your previous last name,
the one which brought you happiness not long after I left.
Know that in this regard you have most definitely grown,
you were manifest from your very first touch.
You were manifest,
the smell of your clothes,
the remnants of your love.