for that neighbor

How could I forget a kiss?
I know it’s strange to forget this
when I think of how you entered my life
like a monsoon: a sudden pressure drop
and rainbow macaws streaked across flat gray sky
like the mist auras on spigots
long after it stopped raining —
on that summer day when you picked me
with your nimble white fingers
like sea glass on a beach
that day the subway stopped
due to a sudden accident
when someone tripped on the train tracks
and died instantly of a heart attack.

The day we met, you sealed me up
in the blue envelope of your mind
but you were always a clutterbug,
easily distracted by new vegetation
in the damp forests of your imagination
so you quickly forgot
how I startled you that day,
and you lost the letter somewhere
in the scattered paintings on your floor
and I turned down the volume
on my infatuation,
mailed it to some unknown destination,
distracting myself with poetry
and religion

but I didn’t mind;
I loved your ride,
how you let me be your man
then tricked me into submission—
free-falling through flashing lights, slot machines
and popcorn forgetfulness
through white sunblind surf,
dizzy spray-splashed camera angles
and wicked trysts—
into your warm lap
where we sipped tea
from cobalt tetsubins:
breathing peachlike osmanthus
androgynous petals falling over us,
perfuming us with purity
and remembrance
of all we could have easily taken,
but gracefully left to imagination
after a taste of cotton candy
as sublime as clouds
that somehow we let drift away
as I ran from you to G-d

I was a monk, you a virgin:
loose-leaf aesthetes,
aescetics loving in reverence:
you were my bodyguard,
neighbor, friend,
fashion diva hairstylist
lending me shirts and music,
leaving notes at my doorstep,
surprising me with the depth
of your uninitiated heart
as we danced in the dark,
chaste, Uranian, touching only wings.
We loved with the tender blinking of stars:
separate, lucid,
sharing protection and sanctity—
moving in white delicacy,
hands touching in the dark.

How could I forget a kiss?
How could I lose something so precious,
a memory like this, a moment
of breached friendship
when you offered yourself to me,
a thousand falling petals —
all regrets and trembling secrets,
but I turned down your fragrance,
haunting and ambiguous,
renouncing body and possessions,
running headfirst into a winter
I thought would save my soul —
choosing the walls of an ashram
over the love of a boy

and in a flash I remembered,
like the shock of lightning and death
that brought me to you,
like that accident which brought me in
from the rain into the warmth
of your electric blue
how I had you, lost you
and always wonder
why I left you on that platform:
and what train has carried you away,
who read the letter I lost,
who embraced those arms I turned away —

whose knowing fingers plucked you from the pebbles
like a sea-glass treasure, the way you’d carried me lovingly
from the crowd that day—and I sometimes wonder
who’s ripped that blue envelope
and found the mysteries of monsoon
and blue topaz that live in your eyes.

I wonder who’s enjoying you today, white seafoam angel—
who’s sitting on your lap now sipping your warmth:
a sanctuary of osmanthus,
brewing in an earthen cup.

© Psyche Marks 2007

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