Handsome man, you flatter me
with violets and violin, midsummer fire
lights your smile, while aurora borealis lends
you emeralds and silk to pour across my feet.
Handsome man, you flatten me
with shallow dreams that burn like paper
matches littering our bed with cardboard
perfumed crowds I don’t recall inviting.
Handsome man, you sweep away
the ashes of the promises I know you tried
to keep the crowds like hairs upon your head
from thinning, yet they tore your hopes apart.
Handsome man, you left too soon
the violin now sits upon a shelf unplayed
the sodden paper matches light no fires
save the ashen pipe dreams of my heart.
© Elaine Stirling, 2013
–image of my grandfather,
photographed by Oliver Maki