Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Aubade with Coffee and Grapefruit

Aubade with Coffee and Grapefruit

You drank coffee, I drank tea,
a sure sign it could never work out.

Still, there was that one morning, both of us
dressed in white terrycloth robes, stolen from
some hotel or other, when we sat together
in the morning sunlight: we felt like longtime lovers,
if only for an hour.

The times without talking are often the best.

You said to me, let's just sit here quietly,
content with that. That morning, in our robes,
we sat and read our books side by side.
I watched you eat half a grapefruit, sprinkled
with sugar, spoon going in under each sectioned
spoke of tart pith, making it spurt.
I thought how forgiveness works exactly that way.
You smiled and ate each spoonful with your tongue out,
an erotic tease, pretending not to watch me watching you.
Forgiveness is like that, too, in the moment,
ignoring all that's gone before.

White table, white chairs, white plates, white robes.
Coffee and tea dark in white cups like machine oil.
Your lips, your pink tongue. I stirred in my sugar.
Always a little too much. I like sweet things.

Did we let those silences stand too long, spreading out
across the map of what's expected, poisoning that groundwater?
Those things we never unburied, radon and bacterial
in the grounds of our being. Still, in the white table,
the white morning, a bit of contented stillness
that lingers still.

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4 Comments:

Blogger Elisabeth said...

This is a terrific statement about the disharmony of relationship and yet something here that binds.

I particularly resonate to the lines:
Did we let those silences stand too long, spreading out
across the map of what's expected, poisoning that groundwater?

Wonderful

1:59 AM  
Blogger Art Durkee said...

Hi, Elizabeth, thanks very much. "Disharmony of relationship" yet something that binds. That's it exactly.

10:03 AM  
Blogger Jim Murdoch said...

An excellent piece overall. Surprised you never mentioned that the sugar was white ... and refined.

5:44 AM  
Blogger Art Durkee said...

Thought it was too obvious to mention.

11:23 PM  

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