his chest was stony, sweatless. His legs
were white as toppled columns.
An arm shielded his eyes
from the island glare. I asked
—Did he want a bite of sandwich?
Would he oil my back?—My hands flapped
at the end of my arms
like ripped kites. Waves sped to the shore.
I have a gift
for extracting promises,
and at home, his calm had seemed
an ocean’s, concealing remarkable forms of life.
Who knew what swirled or bellowed
on the lightless floors?
I’d touched his lips and they had opened. . . .
Yes. By the time we’d gotten
on the plane to St. John,
his face seemed smooth as bathwater.
Once it mirrored my love-mania,
and then, when I cried over what we had gotten into,
absorbed my tears without any change.