You meet each night
in a dream-torn bistro;
crepe-paper walls & lights
too loud for romance,
& chocolate mousse.
When the immacutely-cuffed waiter
lets a candle fizz between you
you’re praying she looks up,
spits sibilance on your lips
& throws the ramekins off the cloth,
but she won't; before the alarm
stains your eyelids white
she will crane her smile to the ceiling;
you will know that in her head,
she is matching flowers to a dress.
At night it prowled our duvet
like the thought of others
prowling our duvet; whispered itself
into our ears, its elbows stormed our dreams.
On anniversary night we drowned
our necks in amaretto & ice;
hearing her joints crack
in the wall-space
to the floor, trampled the backbone
with our heels; we stopped shocked
for a second at the crack;
the sound of a name dying
is a pipe bursting in frost.
You see it as a peril
easing through your hands
like the ocean; each night clouded
in salt; under the rain-fevered roof
I hold your flimsy sack of griefs, cup
the half-formed dreams spilling from your mouth.
I feel time in the flay of your hips,
can hear our forever-folding futures
in the back-beat of your heart -
a treadmill of surf, smoothing the pitfalls
of today, as the grit of tomorrow
clots our open throats.
Her eyelashes fell
like the strings
of an over-ambitious concerto;
the harps of her ribs
were tuned to a sigh
as the chords of her arms
from a glissando throat
to that trembling bassoon,
like a spoon in a cup.
If you have any comments on this poem, Daniel Sluman would be pleased to hear from you.