Afterwards

Sitting on the front door step,

shirt sleeves rolled unevenly to your elbows,

you peel cooking apples with a paring knife

long slices of skin pooling at your feet.

You used to whistle with blades of grass,

palms cupped around a delicate green

as if you held a secret between your hands.

Sometimes, I almost thought your breath

could tempt petals from your fingertips,

daisies unfurling, falling at your feet.

Later, I picked them from between the roots

of the oak tree and wove them into necklaces.

You laughed as I looped yours around your neck,

my hands lingering at the collar of your shirt.

I ducked away from your kiss, your breathy

laugh teasing the hair at my temple.

I smoothed that concentrated furrow

between your eyebrows with my index finger

as you lay back in the grass,

looking so much the romantic lead

in some tear-jerking book-to-film adaptation.

That is how I remember you.

(January 2014)

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