Already her naked body was disappearing
Under my fingers; I could feel it leave
The blood retreating, the breath
The awareness had departed earlier,
Leaving me alone. What was it I worked with?
Neither flesh nor thought. A skin
Cast by the mind.
What if this simulacrum
Sat up, opened yellow eyes, and seized
My wrist? What if it shaped my hand into a bowl,
And poured the oil,
Now burning hot, into the cup?
A violence of love or hatred, kiss
Or claw. Blood mingling with
Sweet almond oil.
-- Yes, what if. But only a vacant slough.
We could wish for anger, or for fear --
Anything but absence, but absence
Is what we have.
Sun grieving through the yellow leaves,
The rattle of branches, the shivering fall
Of tears. This short short afternoon