Once upon a time . . .

we played husband and wife

aged beyond our years

on so many levels

every morning we arrived

(stepped into black-and-white yesterdays

in gilt-silver frames)

every night we were fourteen again

(in separate homes

wrinkles and gray hair ran down the drain)

we were stiff and shy

not used to pretending on such a lofty scale


Once between a time . . .

i wore black and sang of yesterdays

hours before my grandmother’s funeral

you danced the lawnmower tie-dyed

the last time I saw you

(alas, all acts end)

we could have been

we should have stayed

(each eventually faded

out of the other’s spotlight)


Now once beyond a time . . .

reading Dickinson and James

(the script pages ruffle)

i remember melodramatic yesterdays

(all that glitters

is not emerald)

somewhere on a sepia-colored prairie

your Emily waits for her Henry