It was only a dream.
I'd only gotten up to forget the sad blackbirds who were eating cornbread from your hand
Deep in the royal-colored folds
Of our last night together.
I was only looking out at the roof tops
Through the French doors
Where you liked to sit and smoke.
You woke to the sound of wings like tea leaves--
Love, what was it you saw, there in the dark?
Did you care that my skin was pale,
Or that my little silver watch had stopped telling the time
In the moment before you spoke?
Wouldn't either one have brought the rain,
And the soft click of the closing door?
You asked me to bring you
A glass of water and a rose...
But I ended up barefoot on the cool bricks of the courtyard,
Holding a little judas tree in my hands
As if it were our child.
The blackbirds were dying;
Their wings spreading helplessly into the shape of your lips
--sweet as faith--
--warm as cornbread from a pan--
Even to the moment they began to part.