by Noel J. Hadley
Leisure rasps of breath dampen my neck. I wrestle
with the belligerent light of a digital clock. She sleeps.
Under the sheets I can still feel the warmth of her vagina
moistening my leg. Naked breasts melt into my ribs.
Like scores of forefathers passing before me, as
Adam with Eve – I feel complete. I listen as the world smolders
silently, a rawhide matchbook of bodies scratching upon bed strips.
I imagine that right now pockets of the night are
illuminated – a wearisome pleasure flogged
with such fleeting passion then vanquished that sex is a makeshift
promptness only befitting to ghosts. Flesh is an appetite
that cannot be wholly incarcerated, it seems.
I fear that no amount of matches will ever
suffice for those who confuse enduring union with fleeting love.
Days of isolation seared with occasional escapades
of casual pleasure – then gone – a phantoms delight.
Passion is futile, then, without fidelity and afterthought.
The dampened blanket of her legs – the thawing of breasts in my ribs
and this present knowledge that she will be here in the morning –
no, beyond morning – tomorrow evening and the next –
Seven mornings from now, a month, a year even –
Give me another fifty years and eighteen thousand restless nights
strung in thought, glaring into the light of a digital clock.
I close my eyes. Her breath presses softly to my neck.