Was she plain or pretty, and how did you love her: well, or
sometimes hardly at all. And when she met you at the door,
did your heart lift to see the sun striking her there, the fine
down on her cheek like golden fleece in the last hour of day.
Would she call you her boy; were her eyes gentle in saying it.
Before the first light, would she hold you, and how close; and
did you say you’d never leave, were the old lies easy or hard
on your lips. Do you think she believed you, do you think
she knew the wild heath would not leave your soul at rest.
What were you thinking as you played: love, dying; old hearts.
Were her breasts soft against your back in the dark of winter;
did you forget the feel of them soon after she was unbodied,
or did it come back to you when you found one of her long hairs
caught in the bedding months after you had given her to the earth.
Did you find yourself reaching in the darkness for her back’s hollow
remembering her name, at the first rising out of sleep’s little
death, like a sob or cry that rises from the strings at the first
touch of the bow. Or, after a time would you find yourself forgetting
how she looked, and that warmth: song arising then from the grief
of knowing that even the heart’s pure desire burns swiftly to ash.
Copyright © 2020 Vasily Ingogly. All Rights Reserved.