by Caroline Johnson
Even this late the bones of the body shine,*
fiercely, warmly, like a lighthouse of stars.
You look at me and fill up on the sea.
I smile as the salamander sheds its skin.
How many years for bodies to break, for fossils
to expire? Where does breath go, or time,
when light disappears into the fragment
of desire, and movement dissolves into air.
The warm fragrance of summer. A drowsy bee.
August's soft rain. You offer me a raincoat.
We say good-night, candle wax melts,
a thin hot line of smoke wafts into the dark.
Tomorrow, the coming and going of love.
Our last breath distilled to memory like
the lingering notes of a song. Our smiles
fly toward the moon where they lie as
skeletons. We dream of dwarf lilacs,
arrange them into vapor bouquets.
*First line taken from Mark Strand's poem "The Coming of Light."