We were at someone’s house, decorated
like a birthday cake; upstairs room on a fondant
bed, a mirror hanging over where I saw the us
we were, the us we’ve never been.
The most we’ve ever touched in waking,
sober moments was across dinner, your
fingers pressed into mine. “Feel how cold
my hands are,” you had said.
The only time your hair has fallen
over your eyes for me
was outside the Turkish restaurant; you
were the color in a gray scene,
leaning against your car as a prodigal
wind from a distant hurricane
nearly took you from me.
I can’t recall the chill of your palms;
I’ve lost the parking lot conversation.
But the way we kissed long in the cake
house leaves me as thirsty at waking
as the first hour of a day-long hangover.
And the lingering ache is there, always
in 6/8 and fading as slowly as a tattooed
reflection of tequila strangers at another
table, salty lips and eyes crossed from faces
as close as yours was to mine in a frosting
I’ll feel how beautiful
you were for days.
In every dream, there’s at least one tender
moment. I suppose that’s some kind
of Valentine; not as red and bright
as a drugstore aisle, but with a candle
lamp’s flicker of sugar, pain and commerce.