I ASKED MYSELF

Was it the air, swept in with sea salt that grazed your lips
Or the gentle breeze that caught your hair, tangled, blowing
Across your face? Was it that, or the way my arms went numb;
And circling all around, my eyes searched for place to rest,
My shoulder a post to lean, and my hand a hand to hold?
It could have been between Breaths, your arms stretched left,
stretched right, then curled down under your stomach,
where skin met white linen sheet, and hint of your lower back shown.
“I’m not gonna lie!” you said, your lips, formed, loosened
Then persed…and I don’t recall your words that followed, that
Distinct mumble that I mimic in your presence. Was it that I recalled
In a moment and forgot to say, “Almondy” may have been the tone
Of your skin, that it was so fitting; but lost the thought in your eyes?

There is a possibility, beneath the dock at Bowen’s Wharf, or
Bannister, beneath the sheath of barnacles, where tops of hands
Get cut, it may have been there? I wasn’t sure whether I reached
My hand through to see, to feel if it was there? My hand though cut
On the knuckle bore the scar that something had happened. Was it Fishnet
Or the drunken buzz of fiddle and banjo, acoustic guitar and Bodhran,
Was it on those notes, between them, sitting on barstools, was it there?
Could it have been that narrow pass at Spring St, where I bumped off the curb,
And swiftly back up, back next to you?

Was it Stonington, that hill at the end of the corridor of grape vines,
Or behind the vines, perched upon that table? Was it in the deep
Burgundy that filled our glasses, that cabernet grew legs, grew lips
And spoke? Was it in your squeeze, beneath a canopy of crab apples
Watching flies buzz by, was it then? It might have been between Westerly
And Mystic, when, we, quiet, sauntered down a side street, for a last
Drink. I shuttered in the bathroom as I pictured you lying at that pillowed
Bench, and wondered if it was here, now, could it be here now? I lowered
My head, mind blanketed with sleep thoughts and fought my shutting eyes,
And still wasn’t sure, if Newport had stolen my shoes, my watch, my keys,
My weekend, and you my lips?

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