Weeks before the new world began,
we met at an ice-breaker.
I wore coral. The towers still stood.
I did not have to scan the skyline for planes.
We practiced on our street corner.
A mild event-
mounted policemen stood watch
over the chanting of our muffled mass.
During the invasion’s first days,
under the sprinkling of blossoms,
I followed you to the capitol.
We held hands through the alphabet streets,
shared a cherry soda, a bag of roasted nuts,
joined a sea of shining bodies.
The anarchists, with their Mohawks and tear-inked eyes,
charged, pushing us forward-one nation then,
rubber bullets whizzing past.
Ahead, the white smoke of tear gas.
I hid my face in your coat.
You covered your mouth with my hair.
I wish our fists in the air back then
had meant more to anyone.
You wouldn’t have gone further north.
I wouldn’t have slunk back home
to marry a local boy so war-shocked
he could never love me.
EAST COAST LAMENT
I wake some bright morning remembering
the clean taste of you,
your fingers ribboned in my hair.
My hair less silver then.
Or how you always walked the dark blocks
late back to your sparse apartment.
I left red doors
in dangerous cities unlocked.
You used to grab me from behind,
your tongue on my ear.
Where you went in your mind I wanted to follow,
those narrow paths carved in deep snow.
Then your breezing-in and your mouth
was light, airy, the kisses platonic, then not at all.
I let the last lease run out, willed what wouldn’t fit
in the too-small rented car to the sidewalk.
You stood on the petal-blown street.
I drove south unmapped,
not knowing then
what would have made you follow.