REMEMBERED LOVES: Miranda

Seated in a cafe,
an auslander,
you held a book aloft
like a dove
your eyes did not leave the page
when you puffed your cigarette
or sipped your cappuccino.
Ah, that poise — I admire it still.
In you I found what became
the perfect equipoise
to the chaos of my life.

Now, after a strenuous walk around the lake,
my only thought is:
where are you?
where have you gone?
that body I held so close
flesh to flesh and bone to bone,
where is it now?
has it aged with grace?
Do you still have the look of an auslander?

By day we lived in bookstores and museums,
twilight was for lingering on cafe terraces,
and at night we merged in a spasm of joy.
I embrace you still in dreams
only within their boundaries
do I know the mad pleasure of your kisses.
My soul limps without you,
you were my ballast against the sweeping tides,
until you too were borne away.
My lips are naked without your lips.
All life was in your kisses,
though they consumed me slowly
down to burning embers.

In the spring
we walked in mists and fog
the light came
streaming from our faces
the mud
splattered our legs
Miranda, your hair
was a miracle
of vines, wires, nets and wool
it caught the diamonds
that the clouds poured down
my fingers wove
a thousand figures in it
your eyes
had the radiance of sunset
your hands
held me above the abyss
your arms
cradled me with longing.
The rain is with us,
the currents of rushing rivers
flow between us.

We stretched ourselves
on summer's hill of desire
we drank the water
spouting out of the earth
our hearts
like hummingbirds
tasted every nectar
till passion
felled us
and we slept.
The sun is within us,
the smell of earth grass flowers
came into us.
When we picked up
smooth stones on beaches
the old was new again
in our welcoming hands
and the roar of the waves
made its home in us.

Our autumn was an orchard
where we lost
and found each other again
the smell of rotting apples
mingled with our sighing kisses
I climbed a tree
growing out of a grave
to take the fruit
dangling from the clouds
we drank the wine
a beggar sold us
and stumbled into a field
of reclining white bulls
who stared sadly at us.

I knew you with the quiet passion
of the deep snowfall
that stole upon the night
and brought the city to silence.
The morning was fragile.
We remained indoors, and naked
read poetry aloud.
Will I ever know that sacred freedom again?
We passed the day tenderly
in a house of cockeyed rooms
once sanctified by love
outside the sheltering trees
were heavy with snow.
The tenderness of trees is with us still.
The falling snow is with us.
The silence of the hushed sky
is with us.

We parted like slow moving trains
pass one another
I could see the faces
of your many passengers
they looked weary, forlorn, anguished
some wore big hats
pulled down over their faces
a naked woman ran up the aisles
snatching at scarves bags papers
to cover herself
a hanging man
swayed from a handrail
in the last car
a young smiling couple
dressed as for a wedding
sat alone
bearing gifts
on their knees
like children.