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Long Time Gone
by Sharmagne Leland-St. John

I want the house to smell like
Canadian bacon again
On foggy Sunday mornings,
While I stay in bed
Working the New York Times
Crossword puzzle
In brown ink,
With your precious
Mont Blanc fountain pen.

I want to go to Musso & Frank’s
On a Thursday night
For fried oysters
And hear your lyric tale unfold—
Your stories of Old Hollywood
Back in the Day!

I want to go fly-fishing with someone
Who knows what he’s doing and is good,
Someone who’ll help me with my leaders
And un-snag my windblown flies
When the rocks claim them,
And twigs refuse to let go,

Someone who won’t run upstream
And abandon me
At the first sign
Of an Atlantic salmon
Slicing his way through
The icy waters
Of the Northern Tyne.

I want to lie on the white linen,
Down filled sofa
In our deco living room
In the old Spanish duplex on Croft,
With my head in your lap
Listening to A Prairie Home Companion
On the radio
On a Saturday night,
And later in bed, hear you say,
“They don’t call it Saturday night for nuthin!”
Then through sleepy, satisfied eyes
Watch your slow grin spread.

I miss London too,
Mr Chow
On a Friday night,
And the Chinese vases
With single stalks
Of freesia and paper white narcissus
You bought from the street vendors
And brought home each afternoon
As a love offering
To our cosy little cottage
In Aubrey Walk,

The trips to SoHo
In the Tube,
The Indian restaurants,
The Constable Room
At the V & A,
Farlow’s and Hardy's,
Chilled Polish vodka,
The Tate,
Coming home together
The night too dark for dreaming,
Sleeping like spoons
Beneath an antique patchwork quilt
I found in a dusty curio shop
On Portobello Road.

I miss the unequalled luxury
Of being in love once again.

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