Watching you Dress (Published in Revival Issue 15, 2010)
Summer is over,
But the glassy glow of late-afternoon sun
Speaks of the south
As I lie on the bed
Watching you dress.
I am tired but my eyes are wide open,
Woken to a moment thought lost:
A basement room in Tyndale Terrace,
A sallow girl getting dressed
For a Cuban night on the tiles.
Downstairs the children’s voices
Call a name I hardly recognize.
You stand in a daze by the mirror
And twenty years have passed
Without our knowing.
I rise to go to them,
Press past your naked body
In the narrow room.
I stop and fold my arms around you,
And feel a boyish yearning
To resume the habanera
Started all those years ago,
But you don’t.
You have to be somewhere.
Already I hear steps upon the stairs.