Empties

The last glass clatters over
To roll around the empty bottle;
The party tiptoes away
Receding with the sound of chatter;
And all the fragments and discarded wrappers
Bring back a shard of the loss of you.

The drooping plants,
Watered by the steel lips,
Gobble the spilled peanuts.
The stealing moon carries away whispers.
Then, rising from the stubborn ash
Of scattered cigarettes,
Your reacquaintance bloats the present memory.

I see you fixed in time,
A laughing figure, blue-shirted with the sun.
The photograph around you which you mock
Seems to deepen as the eyes take hold.

On the broken terrace the glass is stopped,
The talk has driven away, the shards lie still—
As the piece of glass you left
Still lies in me.

July 1989