I was the nomad among salamanders,
I envied him his settled ways.
Oh, to have arrived at a satisfactory
living arrangement, a still life.
... By that time, his apartment was a place I knew
well enough to thread in total dark:
when I took you by the hand and led the way--
as into a wave breaking, or a river's sheer stillness--
along the balustrade, through nook and den,
I knew that to grope would be indelicate;
I strode by the major pieces--divan, baby grand--
all slept, I knew, legs tucked or wings furled.
On the oval table, I neatly dropped my keys
(his keys, to be precise)
among found objects: shell, chill amber, polished bone,
heavy with mass untouched by light.
I gripped your hand more firmly,
pulled you toward the bed, where soon we lay
wrapped in mutual flame consuming
what never could be his, or ever mine.