remembering LA: their marks

nothing broke
that wasn’t already breaking
nothing lost
that wasn’t already almost gone
those years
like an eternity
left their marks
on heart on soul
and yet
I would gladly relive them
if only to taste
the sweetness
in your smile

only a memory now

he can’t remember the song
just the image
her naked dancing
candles the only light in the room
he’s sitting on the floor
leaning back against the couch
the dog asleep above him
and her hips sway
the light playing shadows
where lust lives
and he will bury his head soon
immersed in shadows himself
and hips will be joined
on that floor
that rug
lost in what should have lasted forever
but is only a memory now

we climbed the rocks

it was
at that steak house
on the coast
we climbed the rocks
after having surf & turf
and talked
more or less
about the state
of our ununion
how little remains
in my memory
just a faint taste
of lobster
the sound
of waves
hitting rock
and the sad smile
slowly fading
from your lips

Coda by James Tate

Love is not worth so much;
I regret everything.
Now on our backs
in Fayetteville, Arkansas,
the stars are falling
into our cracked eyes.

With my good arm
I reach for the sky,
and let the air out of the moon.
It goes whizzing off
to shrivel and sink
in the ocean.

You cannot weep;
I cannot do anything
that once held an ounce
of meaning for us.
I cover you
with pine needles.

When morning comes,
I will build a cathedral
around our bodies.
And the crickets,
who sing with their knees,
will come there
in the night to be sad,
when they can sing no more.