She knew poetry from her lover,
and could repeat it aloud,
speaking of stars
freshly hewn from the heavenscape,
of the cosmic rain that washed her
as she stood with her toes in the river,
shy and yet unafraid.
She knew profound loss,
even as she had been so blessed,
and she knew,
even as she tipped the basket into the stream
and watched their damasked flesh
bob and shine down the stones,
that she would find the rocks as steady,
the water as unforgiving.
The clumsy promises of another
had never been more
than a biding of time;
all she had ever wanted was to sing,
skin against skin,
her back to the mud,
her heart laid bare.
But never was a tongue so silent
as she struggled to find words
to make herself worthy
of all the beauty she’d been given,
and would fail to know again.
* * * * *
For my friend, Trent Lewin.