Halcyon Days

There’s only one time when you were perfect for loving in life, and if you miss that time, if you ignore it or pass it by, you’ve really missed something.  James Salter  I Autumn wind, the leaves a golden mash  at our feet in the kind, quiet blaze  of the streetlight; I am taking your arm under the umbrella, leaning into you, waiting, imagining sweet violences. My tongue is stoppered; its unfamiliar  ecstasies. I cannot say any of this  here, in ordinary streets, in the woods around home, walking into the warmth and taking off my woolen hat,  putting on records. I can only take off one glove and press  my palm to your cheek, for a moment, a sort of sigh, the whole world made of lavender and foxglove, of those dreams we have but don’t discuss, of bedsheets  and mornings, our circling talk.  I call you old Zeus, your big, noble head, your serious heart I haven’t yet dived  through, even after everything;  Primrose Hill, that dream of fireworks and port  and staying on the train. I want to hear you say it, that we’re the children of a king  and we’ve nowhere to go but a cottage built  on other peoples’ sorrow.    II And now you’re leaving me to find out  what’s in store? You talk of fate, of oracles:  this is the future, here. You have no need of seers. What was that, on the Heath,  your last birthday, a willow tree for heaven, our legs entwined, the cricket songs of June — you smelled of soap and suncream and we were still nervous of each other. You think there’s another path? If you have to find it out  I’ll come with you. You think I fear the sea, that wrecking clown. I’d sooner face 

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