Gentle Comes the Call of Goodbye

Gentle comes the call of goodbye,
leaving Love's lips to ad-lib
in the absence of passion. Now
curses fill this kitchen where light
reposed, leaving tear-lines
across the counter. I run my finger
through them, blurring our edges,
and think of the man beneath the metaphor.

Do you remember the time you wore
grace like a garment, studded it
with shards of hearts still beating?
You smiled as bright as night-fall,
bent through modesty and pressed
kiss-chapped lips to my hand.
We were children then; beggars,
prostitutes, thieves. Now,
we're poets in silence.

Last night, I saw you kiss a simile
by the river where you first met me.
Your footprints smeared mine out
of recognition while you left
nail-marks against its spine.
You held it apologetically,
determinedly, before taking it to bed.

This morning you woke with a stanza
attached to your lips, but I heard
you talk to the image in your sleep,
"Cariad bach, hold on tighter at the seams.
You look much more beautiful done up in
verbs and adjectives. Together, we can mould
a masterpiece, take on the world with you
against my quill." And I lay beside you,
trapped too tight in my human case.

My sweet-sleep-talker, I tasted its resonance
on your half-moon lips in greeting, but you
tasted lonely beneath it - like the last tear
cried too late to fall in time with the others.
And I leave you to dry on the counter, taking
the hand of my art and leading it
through recovery to morning.