passionflower tender

after anne sexton

dear anastasia,
the windows are whitewashed
with moon and rain
bitter hours before sun
i have awakened
to find myself well—
one piece—
but my bed remains riddled with chills.
i left you last
in madison
where you lived among
campfires in october.
we spent the night
sleeping to music
headlights chasing squares
across your ceiling.
in uruguay
we kept trouble in pockets
or on lips.
we walked streets
where alejandro and eduard knelt
praying for our viginity
to open like a bowed gift
to eat like strawberries.
we laughed even
as we left in november.
we lose
each other
in fall.
if i found you
you would not believe
i dreamt you
falling away from me
taking words
memories that keep you
in my pocket.
you would brush my hair
milky white fingers
glowing through darkness
promise not to leave
or let me go.
you might braid you hair with mine
show me
we are twins
that i can hold you
a soft stone in my palm
jan. 1997, as remembered dec. 1999, punctuation added 3.29.04