Sunday, February 06, 2011


kitchen light in dark night,
a Christmas package opened,
a picture, black and white,
at least thirty years old and you,
then, but immediate,
your smile and your hair, your face and your perfect body -
big shirt and cutoffs and fat sunglasses
and femininity unpretentious, beauty unconscious -
I fell in love with you, struck dumb at seventeen,
as you stood, exactly as I look at you here in this picture,
and I knew I couldn't be sure you were real
unless I touched you
unless I brushed my hand against yours in shy passing by.
and so I did, quiet, stumbling a little as I came close
pretending not to notice you there, as you smiled at me;
and did you jump just a little, like I did, when I touched you
so lightly
so gently?
I was so quickly sure, but I wonder -
could you have had any idea, all those years ago,
that I'd never know another as I walked through life,
never another as I knew you in that very moment -
so sure, as youth can be, that I'd love you until I died?
and now sent to me from you
still far away but drawing closer every day,
my Peace in a photograph - my heart opened
my love wakened
as fresh as when we were children -
as new,
as moving as it was
the first time I touched your hand.
24 December 2002

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