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Late Autumn Afternoon

‘Isn’t it dark outside?' you say, looking out the window
from the settee that has itself known better days.
Now it feels selfish to have opened the curtains;
letting in the light that seems dark to you.
I bathe your feet; you have no objection;
this surprises me, as much as it soothes me.

We eat marshmallows; they are so easy to eat;
almost eat themselves you say.
You observe your feet closely, comment
they are both yours, then ask what to do
with the one that is out of the water.
I ask you to lift it up, saying we are not
out of the water yet. You laugh. I like that.

Then you say it again, the thing about the dark.
After six times I have a sherry.
You remind me of how your father said
‘Let’s shut out the dark’ when you were a child.
I look into your face and wonder if like me
you have dreams where you wake up and breathe
more easily knowing that whatever it was
is not today’s problem.
After a second sherry I tell you that soon
at this time it will be darker-
I wonder too about myself sometimes,
or how I can say anything about loving
or dying.

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