Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Lovers at Eighty

artwork: ralph murre

The Lovers at Eighty
by Marilyn Taylor

Fluted light from the window finds her
sleepless in the double bed, her eyes

measuring the chevron angle his knees make
under the coverlet.  She is trying to recall

the last time they made love.  It must have been
in shadows like these, the morning his hands

took their final tour along her shoulders and down
over the pearls of her vertebrae

to the cool dunes of her hips, his fingers
executing solemn little figures

of farewell.  Strange—it’s not so much
the long engagement as the disengagement

of their bodies that fills the hollow
curve of memory behind her eyes—

how the moist, lovestrung delicacy
with which they let each other go

had made a sound like taffeta
while decades flowed across them like a veil.

~ first published in the Indiana Review