I know the rise and fall of secret freckles
On your breast, I know the mute trumpet
Of your rude sinuses in sleep. I know too

The ways your roundy elbows waken me,
The nudge and bump of your warm body
Damp from rain and shivering beside me.

I know the taste of sweat supped off your
Back; your eager give of lips beneath my
Kisses. I recognise your great wide smile

But only see it now in lazy reminiscence.
I know what it would be to brush smooth
Skin again, to dimple your pale waist by

The ambles of my touch or to trace those
Grooves of slim elastic where your belly
Tapers past your pinioned navel’s clutch.

I remember the last times that you came,
Wrenched like a vice into my exhausted
Frame and with your murmur like a frail

Song lost beneath the patterned cover of
The bedclothes. I recall wet petitions for
To stay come morning, rousing thoughts

Of reconvening in the night. I know how
It is to wake in a winter bed without you;
I know the dream we had was only slight.