The Old Stomping Ground

For M.C.

I met my old lover on the street last night.~Paul Simon

At four in the morning, I detour from prone
shadows rasping through the sudden chill

winter’s first hard shove and though I
bunched my summer blankets in a scrum–

nervous dreams–still sharp cold nipped
every inch of skin I offered. When a lover

dies, we all clamor for recognition, jostle
into chronology as if grief gives rights

at last. All the newly revealed lessons,
once mouldering in the dank basement and that

final call we never made–did I think that
he would rise from his deathbed, demand

my distant voice? He plucked my heart
in his passing, so I reenter that sticky

web I fled so many years ago, the one
I carry with me still, in the dark enjoining

strangers and new friends, regale my
side, painting romance over the edge

of terror and pain revisited. Oh, I saw
this day coming, long ago, and yet right now

there is not even a glimmer of dawn, not since
nightfall descended. The moon is bursting

wide-eyed full over my shoulder as I peer
into indigo east searching for signs.

Inspired by: Detour, Nervous, Shadows, Nightfall and Linda Hill’s Stream of Consciousness prompt: ground (which means no editing, just put pen to paper and press publish. ┬áNo matter how much I wish I could change.) The soundtrack for this one is Paul Simon’s Still Crazy After All These Years and Stars by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals.