Leaving The Night, This Wine

Mid-week, mid-August
sibilance of distant voices disturbs.
Rainfall chances heighten in the heat.
The highway grass holds secrets,
lure of a healing shrine,
wine-stained ghost story.
Yellow penthouses spike
the perimeter garden parks.
Museum galleries emptied of
cut, curve, splice of color
sit secured behind scavenger chains.

Maine summer memories wither,
shaping a child’s decades.
Lodged in stasis, we argued
a Chinatown courtship of
opium pipe and ginger prawns,
biography’s careless sense.
I tossed it to the table:
Practice to your limitations.
I don’t want questions.
Give me your answers to
the test of days alarms.

Lantern lines twist in a rising wind.
Ballroom parties assemble
along the River Walk.
Like a wraith, collapse
wends through all conversation.
I take the dining change,
stuff it in my pocket,
follow you to the pier.
Wrung from confusion’s choice,
arrangement ironies,
the alphabet of secrets leaves us
lying in our final letters:
You fell in love.
I moved in another’s direction.

R.T. Castleberry