renaissance. renaissance.

I slept last night
the sleep of death. the even breath
my darling breathed

a floor board creaked and

the breeze blew back.

The men crept through the open window, picked the lock
slid the sliding door, hoisted themselves through the sill
pressed foot falls
and sat at the edge of the bed

Clocks beat time, darkness ran watery, wind blew our hair

and they were there, in all their man-ness. in tenderness and
terror of tenderness--a hand brushing a cheek, resting on a leg

their wives and babies back home, smiling, sleeping
no one was leaving
no one was missing

I sat in my nightgown, my voice catching

I'm still on fire, I said

they watched me explain, tears in our eyes,
they brushed back my hair, still long still dark
arms around me
arms that braced and separated
until I forgot my body
my duties and honor

and outside the open window, the first sound of rain
of rain falling down

of lightness

when ghosts return to you, and depart again

for home

hadn't they seen what memory,
hadn't they stepped beyond

or had I bade them come
despite time and age
marriage and mortgage, new states, new names
in spite of the responsibility of experience
of faith

maintained from trust
in spite of safety from love

from true love

i Dion

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