The Afterparty

Come, meet me by the kumquat tree –
how the light disappears in your dimples
mystifies me.

We’ll smell like this forever, sweetness,

The bay’s sultry salt spray
rouses a riot of citrus scents –
lime, orange, and kumquat,
some ripe on the ground,
orbs of edible sunlight,
stardust sugar supernovas
in the grassy spaces between our bare feet.

At dusk, we set down
a blanket just
for the two of us
and watch the sun dip
with the tendrils
of our responsibilities
below the horizon line
demarcated by high rises
and our unwillingness
to look any further
because we know
that’s where the darkness
is complete.

Around us: plates
smeared with the remains
of seared tuna, buttery rice,
sticky roasted melon.
Nearly empty wine goblets
lean on each other for support,
cradle the dregs
of a dark Merlot.
We’ve indulged on holiday,
enjoying the company
of the multitudes
until the smoke clears
and the caterer is found
waiting for the check.

But now all the guests have gone.
It’s just the two of us.

I ask you to pass me
the jar of Kalamata olives,
you tell me how
the setting sun
highlights the gray
in my beard.

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It’s the last day
before the rest of our lives
and there’s no one else for us
but each other, you say.

You stand up
and dip your finger
into the darkening clouds above
and sky-write letters
the eastern wind
will stretch into a novel
of impossible romance
for which we have
no rational reason
to suspend our belief,
and still we do.

You say,
Haven’t you eaten enough?
How can anyone think of food
at a time like this?

And then we dance
one last time
before parting.


Cover photo from Flickr.