I keep it closed and locked,
In an imaginary, leather binding,
With its many pages compressed,
So that memories far apart
Are easier to retrieve,
Like scooping pearls
and shells on the sand.
There are stories of great adventure,
Tiny incidents like crystals
Shivering in the sun.
Lovers I knew in ancient times
Sleep among the pages
But come to life as I read,
My eyes caressing them as
My hands once did their skin.
Colors of eyes and hair remembered
Leap to paint the air around me:
Yellow sunlight and bodies moving,
Both electric and languid
In tangled sheets or long grass
After passion passed.
Some flashed like fireworks,
But others burned long and slow,
Not ready to love, nor to let go.
Smiles across a playing field,
Surprise midnight visits on holidays,
Costumed for Halloween with tiny stars
That shimmered on the stairs next morning,
Or inebriate feasts on the Fourth of July,
Tanned in the water and soothed at night.
There are short liaisons with friends
And long affairs, living with lovers,
Imagining it lasting forever
And battling the serious and inane.
Thinking everything will say the same.
And underlining all these times
Is the solidity of just one true love.
Finished November 14, 2021