ELEGY BEFORE

CHIARA DI LELLO

 

I do remember some things
the tautness underneath your skin
a lamppost in flooding eastern light
choked with morning glories
throats open
 
and how even the smallest touch repeated could tilt
the axis of all sensation – my favorite undoing
and the vents sounded something like our breath, our breath
 
I have been your island so you wouldn’t be an island entire
I have been the naked will straining growth from salted scree
mute as the moon but adept at tidal force
 
I have been a refuge, scrappy or lush
an outpost – secret, triumphant
until the weight on my bones
bent me toward you
 
gravitational collapse, a hard shoal
as if an island could long
for the touch of ships even in their wrecking

 
 

∘∘∘