Cassandra


Claypot wine that brimspills yellow dusksongs

soot bluffsides, crushed oil of stone path sunlight

melia with white tongues like oracles:


despite his temples grey with seashells

these he promised her.


And the pottery sky stained blue with stamen and pistil.

And the pollen of his skin contracted for the next morning.


Seabirds comet falling below the dark water disappear now

a sign as her ship tacks the waves

main sail like a tapestry drape:


she knows now:


later he’ll still open window listen past midnight,

after a pension stair steep and narrow lean

sky like contact paper: damp night smells

temple bells that chime imprecise hours

a car alarm, a nightclub throb along the waterfront:


he’ll hear the hollow, moist husk

of orange grove breathing he misses:

he’ll follow a fly buzz into gone:

he’ll feel her thigh’s weight when

he barely wakes at five the next morning

vague as the scent and shades of lilac blooms.


She should have known, even without a gift then

lips still trusted, his love would never turn

to a cur’s growl of drunkenness sorrow.


She should have known that look like mid-day lavender fog

like winter washing balcony draped


like minnow sliver water fragility

like the clarity of not knowing


would have always been hers.

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