A flame encased in blown sugar glass,
Warped. Her arms oscillate out of shadows
In sideways arcs, offer early morning dew
Or frost in sunshine palms. Passes
Out of view. I wait. Anticipate the flash
Of skin in stronger focus. Deeper glow
From the narrowed aperture reveals few –
No – no clothes. Bareness. I do not trespass
On her rapture, her daily routine. Just
Watch; hug my sides, pinch and wonder if I
Am toned like her or just skinny. Her dance
Is my breakfast. So at seven I trust
She will be there. And if I catch her eye
Through our windows, I blush, just glance away.
All the love is kept in this little stone heart.
Hear that slosh, a rare geode,
But there must be a leak. No, just air.
The liquid echoes out its own shortcomings
Misgiven when the rock formed.
This little stone heart cannot apologise
For what it is. That its skin is hard and cold,
That its beauty would only be seen if it were broken,
Then the love would seep away.
And this little stone heart believes it has been
Loyal and brave for the last few million years.
Since a volcano took a gulp of a glacier,
Our little stone heart buried itself deep
So as to not crack once.
We lie under chestnut trees to feel the crunch
Of red and gold. The leaves’ last sighs pile high
And can’t be teased from messy hair. We fight,
Throw fist-fulls that float off, then launch
From the first branch with squeeze-tight hands. A pair
Of pirate-divers search for forest pearls
In urchin shells: hidden in moss, in fern furled
Tight, stems droopy from the frost. The games and dares
End. Maturity calls from the back door.
I go up the steps with you tucked in my coat
And the flames of a sunk-sun October
Behind us. We can’t return. You can’t go out:
I prop you on the window ledge so you can see
The squirrels play under the chestnut trees.