Twelve Steps Toward her
by Lamont Palmer

Disappearing into the solicitous church
she went, where drinkers become anonymous,

God cleansing their alien, broken breaths.
She was inside. There, I waited,

on the outside, sober, passionate: watching
as they filed out. Jealous of her secrets,

lost in love's black hole and the thinning air
of its formed peaks, the duality of temples

spoke to me and spoke to my hands,
which grasped a hedonism, high as steeples.

Emerging from curtains of cigarette smoke,
her eyes spoke the wishes: twelve steps toward

utopian towns. We knew this was the test
of compassion, roving through impatient flesh;

love, not so young, but as complex, as delicate;
a mosaic of notions, inherently, mapped out.

Then off to our own secrets, the deepest signals;
fixing Jack Daniels dilemmas, knowing faith's touch.

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