Bucolic Memory
by Kenneth Elliott

You made your lovers' songs thin with malice
Those summer days we danced waist to waist
In grass high as our navels and milky with summer
Blowing locust flaps and Sirocco reed sounds.

I would not sit down.

I wanted to leave the crawling life, and did not care
That your friend made love on rocks like a lizard
Warmed by sun and caress and cool stream water
Flowing through a mesh of fingers.

I would not make her life yours.

Crop dusters buzzed low.  I shifted foot to foot.
You took your hand from inside my shirt,
And your shrugly turn ripped through me.
I watched you leave,  picking your way through brambles,
Making your departure a sweeping gesture of distance --

You would not hear your name clipped on my lips,
Would not hear your name spoken without sigh,
Nor I find solace in love's fine finitude.

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