Did you taste that thirsty pause
between our grasping laughter?
We peeled away the years
of disembodied closeness
we’d built like dunes covered
by disinterested waves
that made their sterling debut
late in that clean afternoon.
That open pause like
the mouths of lovers eating a kiss-
I traced the movement of your lips
as you taught me Cockney slang.
I could only spit out Harvard yard.
I drank the Caribbean high noon,
and you sipped on beans from Brazil.
Love tried to intervene
to expose our mindless mime.
Finally, it was poetry that united us.
We worked together on a poem
we both wished we had written
that spoke the unspeakable
of what was or could be between us,
that forced us into the third person
and stole deafness from my wishes.
We made love to the printed page,
and said goodbye without a touch.