Lighting flashes. The swoosh of wind Rattling the gallant trees, the green and ocher Auspices of the grove, Ambushing the soldier-tall spears Encircling us. Your pretext was to hold and protect me From the spieling tempest, Then you pressed your storm-moist palm To my novice’s chest, My unshielded heart— In the tensile year leading up To that crazy, whistling bamboo maze, I’d labored carefully to conceal The sparks I felt so often in your presence; Like dispensing with an intricate mask At uproarious Venetian Carnival, All at once, our mutual longing Was completely pond-clear, ineluctable: Truthfully, no ardent valentine had ever dared To bless me with a French kiss Or to probe my wet but febrile nipples With a purposeful tongue, And well, that was an epiphany! Yes, I admit: I’d never known The rain-slicked moustache And black tussock of thick hair, The telling heat and reassuring heft Of a man’s sinews firsthand— The wide-awake pilgrim, the not shipwrecked Philosopher manqué in me insists: We outwitting survivors Return from oblivion or tempest, Out of the ruckus and voltage, alive, Only to find unmistakable signs, Indelible memories branding us Like Lichtenberg figures: The fabled marks, the improbable flowers Pitiless lighting leaves On startled, inconsolable flesh— Page 24 - Nine Mile Magazine

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