You were the salt of my earth for a time, an earth breathing,
wrinkled and ancient, in the black bed of the stars.

You were the yawning echo moving over my tired skin,
an echo of swamp trees ruckusing late in the morning.

You were the half-drunk word I wanted to say when the dusk-fed
drawing room swelled with conversation and sadness.

You were the weight of after-midnight on my eyelids
when I was falling asleep alone, colored by the moon.

You were the gray-lipped light decaying on the church window,
onto my gravel-torn black boots on Sunday afternoon.

You were the boyish afterthought of rusted charcoal left
on my fingertips after opening the sun-hot cemetery gate.

You are the brutishness of new whiskey in my chest
every time you go breathless under my stars tonight.