He loved me with kisses on the forehead,
Strung poems in my hair
As I lay against his warm skin, on a bed on the floor,
While a Madras moon stood guard outside my window.
I loved a magician once
With dancing feet and a crooked smile.
He claimed my shoulder as his own one night,
As he made the stars rain with his sleight of hand;
His vanishing trick, an unmatched act.
I've even loved a bore, a nice guy who couldn't see
That I would be best when I lived free
He gave me trinkets in silver when I ran
A bribe, an imploring or a slave chain.
Totems for each of them, a horcrux for all.
A radio song for the magician,
Scars for the poet,
The bore, books and patience.
My evening settles, gentle and low, a houseful of silence
Knocking at my door.
I open up a magic box, the magician's gift to me
Take out a poem, yellow, old and rusty
A caress here, a paw there, a hard yank of my hair
A memory, a moth, an unused black quill
They clamber out of the poem, and sit on my hands,
I greet them, gentle and slow
Where have they been, I ask
To the poet, the magician, or with the bore?