On the Edge of the Black Forest
We went into a cathedral to steal time. You made out
like a bandit, and everyone thought it was me
who made you late. You were going to stay the night,
and didn’t. Seeing each other was still a vehicle then, a crevice
in the wall I would come to know as living
a subtly then starkly different life than the one
I shorthanded as the future, a prescription.
I drank so I could be drunk, so the kind of girl who could
drunk-dial her ex-lover could be becoming on me.
What shelter could I offer us now, so many years on
from sharing a glass of vin chaud and feeling lucky? I can’t say
we deserve any, but try: the fiat of distance, the aspirated breaths
of February, a slip-up we regret (like sound waves, separately:
you for the reverberations, me for acceding
to what I knew I didn’t have words for even as I did it).
How we burned grace clear through, a forest fire
of a solution. I often wonder about the trees,
how they could pull their shoulders back
to greet the axe coming down with something
more magnificent than resignation: they knew no life
without being felled, nor each other except as planks.
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