Tuesday, February 21, 2012

From where we hold awhile


The Old City

Those years ago, this was the last night of it.
The masked merrimented spent of their raucous
revelry, their costumes rouged and rent, brimmed
in a calamity of cups. We stood and swayed in
circles to music skipping off the old cracked walls
of the Weinmarkt, the kitschy schlager song about
Greek wine pouring mirth like retsina from our mouths.

These years hence, my hands have weathered some
since they lingered briefly along the lineage of your
fair face, slipped the trace of your perfect nape to find
shoulders that have known worlds beyond my transit.
I think of you now yet young and alive as Fasnacht
winds down to the rising sun, your love beside you
as the loves of winters gone still chase their shadows
along the place where the swans gather and scatter.


I think of you now arrived years since, your future
yet to ripen, your hurried hem kissing the keeping
street stones that have known love and lutesong, loss
and longing, the dark plagues that reminds us time
will take it all as when the moment a girl yields to
her first lover, the field surveyed and laden with snow,
the humors of the blood stirred with the season that
makes warmth an edict of both pleasure and necessity.

So I think of us then, now and then, caught in the frieze
of a recollected doorway, our arms indiscernible as where
we touch, the passersby eddied in singular currents that
take them downriver from where we hold awhile as the
world throws itself against the stars we alone flint in kisses
that light the battlements that ring the old city above us.
Those years ago, this was the last night of that. And so
it is again. You are there, I am here, as we are everywhere
yet together, everywhere as everywhere is where we are not.

Joseph Gallo
February 21, 2012



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