That big party we had before
you moved to Chicago
wasn't only your goodbye.
I hid all evening near the music
while my lover heated egg rolls
in a toaster oven,
plotting her own escape
with her future husband.

Only you noticed the sad conclusion
taking hold of my face.

A new spring has come.
The fresh rust on my car
symbolizes faithfulness
until death do us part.
I moved the TV into the bedroom.

I do not expect a form of love
which is only good.
I do not pretend wholeness
contentedly alone.
Hell makes pleasure bearable.

Last July you came home
for a visit, we drank wine,
one glass following another,
friends buying bottles for us
until the bar locked us out.

The curtain rose after 2 am.
Your stage was an empty parking lot.
You performed the Twilight of the Gods.

Red hair ringing your face like fire
a long silk scarf wrapping you like smoke
on a breezeless, balmy summer night -
Oh that was love, that was love.

Behind your hard desires & migraines,
your song had a tenderness,
your moon glowed with a light
I was wise enough to see.

I flapped my mothy wings around you,
but I landed in an airport terminal,
hungover sad for a silly blonde
who hated  herself for fucking me
while her fiance was in Paris.

Whenever I try outrunning a woman's anger
it catches me, & when I face it
I discover that not even the gods
are loved in all the ways
they want & need.
None of their music & machinations
bring reason to love.
The gods are puppets, too.

© Bob Rixon
The Balancing Beam