On my last evening with Dominique,
we sat at one of the outside tables
at Vidanges while les voyou on Vespas
wailed through the Rue du Faubourg-St-Honere
and spoke again about changing my life:
start doing something meaningful -- perhaps
taking tennis seriously or less pills,
falling in love again or for the right
reasons. And my Dominique stroked the back
of my wrist as I talked, smoothing the hairs
until they lay as silent as cut grass.
So I felt restored there, with Dominique,
discussing these many important things --
I mean the spiritual life, my own
disenchantment with le monde ordinaire,
restored because I knew she was a friend
too impossible to shock, who would often
rub the lip of the wineglass so slowly
it made me hard and even harder not
to trust advice that night we lay in the dark
the windows of her bedroom open, her
small tattoo just above the left hip bone
an elaborate, cupped poppy, minute,
worn like a seal against her nakedness.
I could not tell in the shadows kissing
this new illumination of body
slightly damp running the harp length of ribs
with my fingertip circling slowly
as the stars shifted in their rack of black.
I think about this, pouring a little
scotch and listening to sirens marking
the distance, shaping the night
to a whole new level of our breaths.