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A Song for Stephen
(for Stephen Mannarmattathil)
by Janet Leister

You said I want everything my way
and that is a joke
Nothing has ever gone my way                
and if you knew anything
you'd know how small and worthless I am
no more than a pile of dirt

I had finally learned
how to live without love
alone, but happy

Then in you came, unexpectedly
exhuming emotions long since buried:
desire, passion as our bodies  entwined,
your touch melting my icy core

with you I saw God and it wasn't in the simple
mechanics of sex, of your body in mine,
but in the way you gazed deeply into my eyes as you kissed me,
looking past the pain and seeing a woman who loved you;
in the way you warmed my skin, my heart, my soul,
in the way you made me live again

you disentombed the silken center of my soul
and showed me bliss as you held me close
and fell asleep stroking my hair

just when I began to see possibilities in love,
and believed that I, too, was allowed to have joy,
you deserted me without warning or reason,
refusing to tell me how I had angered you,
refusing me the dignity of truth

your heart grew cold as the December rain
splashing from tombstones, chilling me to the bone

longing for the familiar comfort of the grave
I embrace the eternal void
my one true love


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