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Orange Tree and Street, Seville, Spain

The endlessness of you, I wrap
in folds of sable, crush
fresh petals of the tree you smuggled
from Seville and sprinkle them
across our bed. Who says
that nothing rhymes with orange
never kissed the slope of you
or slept exhausted, shutters open,
with their cheek against your thigh
while sycamores, their boughs
outstretched in graceful meter
called Saharan winds to dance.

I find it strange, you said
once with surprise, the love
affair this world has with grief.
Do they not see that love
precedes the lover, always is,
en route and here and flowing
through? What else is there
for us to do but lavish?

In those times between
when afterglow begins to
fade and memories like old
linen crack and yellow, turn
away—toward me! You’ll see
I’m here again and not so differently,
though better. First, a brush against
your nape, a scent—and quickly
then, a silhouette proportioned
in the way you know me best.

Remembering what is to come
proves simpler than it seems. I throw
the windows open to the orange-
scented breeze and hear like distant
castanets the endlessness of you.


© Elaine Stirling, 2014