Edward Buckbee – In The Heart of Another

After stints in academia, business and development, Edward Buckbee now works on imaginal writing and visual art. His lyric pieces, keyed off the visual and mostly short, mix the personal with issues of the day and current reading.

Grief runs through, and, alas, like everyone, he keeps wondering about love.

How best to modulate the tumult of our times with the promptings of our hearts?

For more, please see: edwardbuckbee.tumblr.com


In The Heart of Another

— For S. G.

1.
In the absence of sin,
I ever struggle to atone.

2.
On Maurice the world had long since
Given up, to pasturage consigned.
Most days, elegant
(This being town and country, Connecticut),
He lunched a local lady,
Coiffed, perfumed, modeling,
Say, a blousy frock in spring,
A snug tweed suit in autumn,
Pearls always in season, scarves.

A French bistro in town
Served lunch just, some said,
For Maurice and his preoccupation.

Spinsters, divorcees, widows,
The perpetually wild at heart,
Professionals past prime,
Disaffected spouses abandoned,
(This being town and country, Connecticut),
Each claimed a golden age,
Maurice reverently listening.

Time released the participants —
One martini, maybe two,
From gossip to flirting,
Laughs louder, whisperings,
An occasional tear.
Then meat or fish,
Sautéed, roasted,
Sauce béarnaise his request.

Mid-afternoon they arose,
To touch, to kiss.

A driver made uneventful
Madame’s wistful journey home,
Lent her his arm,
Handed her the keys.

Maurice went home alone,
Walked dogs, never entertained,
Monthly settled all accounts,
Generous in gratuity.

Exemplary citizen he–
No aspersions or innuendo.
Not one woman fault found,
Not a few later declared
Maurice the love of her life.
3.
Despoiled I
Linger in an archway,
Empty of offering,
Expectant.

It has been reported:
A private tongue
Well-nigh extinct
Sings my tune
In the heart of another,

Common tune,
Just light refrain,
Ordinary repeats,
That all of speech,
Nothing to do
With waiting.

4.
I remember when you and I walked through warm evening air,
under the royal palms in Somerville, Massachusetts,
and into the covered arcade of Bow Street Market.
We marveled anew at the vaulted construction,
the little shops, their exquisite wares — leather,
glass figurines, silks for
supple silhouettes.
We saw old-book sellers,
Their eyeshades, white gloves.
We saluted little bistros
where, in the back, between courses,
we had been known to embrace,
lovers from far away.
Languorous over ices
we agreed to reject
the bell tower for Union Square,
next St. Joseph the Pedestrian.
Maybe a thousand years,
but that tower would fall
ending the Bow Street Market.
So sad, so pointless!

5.
We are somewhere together. Place does not matter. Better if we are alone. Best if we are lying down, side by side. But, really, none of that matters.

Ask me sweetly to shut my eyes, relax my face and wait.
Then, kiss me. It can be any kind of kiss you like, anywhere on my face (it has to be on my face), for as long, and for as many times, as you like.

When you are done and before either speaks, please give me a moment to collect a scattered self and open eyes.
This sequence completes any moment, any place. You direct me, and I follow — eyes, face, a pause, lips.
Of course, each instance of this will be new, for both of us. So, let’s take turns. We have to see for ourselves. No telling what happens next.
6.
We have made love many times already.
(Why, earlier today, such a lovely morning!)
Different each occasion, all miraculous.
I catch you laughing — how silly boys can be —
Then drifting with me away, yet another dream.
We take no stock, reach no conclusions,
Afraid again our hearts will break.
New lovemaking ahead, ever more real,
Until at last I touch, kiss,
Your mouth, your sex.
7.
I cup your breast. It is early.
Eyes closed, you smile, murmur “no”.
My body assumes the contours of your body.
Outside noise infiltrates; here silence intensifies.
Light illumines; darkness deepens.

8.
You tell me to get off you,
And I do.
Then I have to put back on my briefs,
Which takes some doing.
After, those jeans, that button fly.
On and on, until dressed.
You, too.

You say I can
Still do this and that,
But clothed.
And so it is.

Soon, I kiss only.
Not long after,
Just look.
The trend is negative.
You talk to me
On the phone.
Now you write:
You will
Read what I post.

Still and silent
I have become.
A left-thumb search
Finds a dent
Below the third finger
Where once you were,
When?

Mind in non-stop.
I console myself,
Pity, only
Just not nothing!
Sense slipping,
Still heart scenes,
Oh, darling,
I guard them
With my life.

9.
She was so angry.
He had emptied the hall closet, taken down all the fixtures, painted the walls flat black.
Now, when you opened the white door, a cold night wind from a sea crossed your face.
She kept saying, “What the hell, Steve? What the hell!”


END

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