“In Time to Come”

“In Time to Come”
(c) 2017 by Michael L. Utley

She had that look about her again
Eyes like chips of coruscating amber
Caught in the westering sun
Her over-there gaze snagged
On some distant memory
Like thorn-caught thread
Hands prim and pale
In her denim lap
Amid foxtails and dandelions
And oak shadows

Things move too fast
When they move too slowly
The heat that summer was unbearable
A bludgeon wielded by a chrome sky
Its merciless swath pounding
Everyone everything into submission
We were not spared

I could reach toward her forever
And never touch her
I’ll tell you in time to come, she’d say
Her tired smile dying before
It reached her eyes
Time to come never coming
Never time enough
Time running out

Let’s sit and enjoy the shade, she’d say
The sun slipping languidly
Into oblivion
Her face haloed
In a warm orange aura
My ephemeral love
Ensconced in flames

Broken pieces of her
Litter the oak-shadowed grass
One touch and she’d shatter
One embrace and she’d be
All over the place
Delicate balance was
The ruse of muses who
Knew nothing of reality
Who knew nothing of
Love and sickness
And the terrible nectar
Of the tainted honeysuckle

Even the birds are quiet

There is no darkness
As black as love
No pit as plumbless
As that filled with regret
Her brown eyes
Smiling and weeping at once
Succumbing to demons
Unknown to me
So much of her slate blank
Her portrait only half-finished
Before the paint dried out
And the canvas rent asunder

Broken pieces of her
Litter the oak-shadowed grass
I used to collect them
Their razor edges
Slicing my hands bloody
Only a few remain
Among the foxtails and dandelions
Her voice only an echo now
I’ll tell you in time to come

(for Lizzy)

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