we wanted to let love come in

after hey, that’s no way to say goodbye
for edmonton poetry festival, birds on a wire event, april 2017

remember what our bodies craved, when we were newly healing
blueberries and honey tea,  that sleepy, river feeling
we mapped out tender places, stolen moments for the taking
no greater gift than kissing you, sweet lover, upon waking
we wanted to let love come in, what made us so afraid?
the girl inside you sang back then; my sad piano played

we found a quaint discreet hotel, without much of a view
we left the maid our morning sheets, they smelled like me and you
we wanted to let love come in — like light, it finds a crack
for me that was your blessed skin, your freckled upper back
for you it was my winter eyes, you said they saw right through
you said they made you realize we can’t always be true

you opened me like beaujolais, and sipped until i came
and when the chimes of midnight rang, i cried out your old name
i paid you back in poetry, i paid you back in rhyming
yet despite how deep we loved — we loved! — we always blew the timing
we tried to set up house in greece but never got it right
dinners began with sambuka and ended in a fight

i want to be your hero knight, but i can’t be your man
we navigate the distances the only way we can
i asked you once, where did you run? you said we’d meet in france
now that it’s time to part again, you still owe me that dance
the clock is set for leaving, is there something i should know?
you’ve made it so damned clear to me, you’re really gonna go

we found a thousand crazy ways to make each other cry
you couldn’t be nobody’s wife; i had to paint the sky
still, remember what our bodies craved when we were newly healing
blueberries and honey tea, that safe and floaty feeling
no greater gift than kissing you, sweet lover, upon waking
we fed each other’s hungers with the morning gently breaking
we wanted to let love come in — like light, it finds a crack
and now you’ve gone, but hey, i’ll never stop wanting you back

© laurie macfayden, from Walking Through Turquoise, Frontenac House, 2017

macfayden 2

 

 

 

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