The Beachcomber Pleads the Platonic to His Wife
Swear I’d only kissed
her hand in friendship –
white wine cooling my
lips on her pale wrist,
luminous as pearls,
her laugh shy, softly
sweet, and nostalgic
for what could have been.
I’d sat beside her
looked into her eyes –
there’s no lie about
the thoughts in her mind
a look of almost
surprise and pleasure,
or promised pleasure.
You know my word’s good
thrown like shaken dice –
I have cast my lot
with you, my only
wife, my only love.
So please lift your hair,
softly shut the door.
The plummy musk of onions and unwashed lace
trails as she walks from room to empty room.
She sees a spider poised, splayed upon
a very white tile on the black and white floor,
the symmetry of its position momentarily soothing
the chaos approaching warp speed in her interiors.
Her robe has only one pocket,
she holds a glass in her free hand.
Shards of bright
kaleidoscope against smooth walls,
burst and battle within, the fireworks of struggle.
She hears the dictionary of blame
in the tick tick of the clock by the door
Wondering whose life is it
her arms grieve heavy.
She aches to tilt her face to sun
but is afraid to go outdoors,
It is very dark. It is very dark deep inside.
And so it goes.
Tobi Cogswell is a two-time Pushcart nominee. She has been published nationally and internationally. Her latest chapbook is “Surface Effects in Winter Wind” (Kindred Spirit Press). She is the co-editor of San Pedro River Review .