The Loft


I lay on her bed
while she opened the windows
so we could see the river
and the factories beyond.
Afternoon light falling
beautifully into the room,
she burned candles,
incense, talking quietly
as I listened–
I, who conspired
to make this happen,
weaving a web of words that held
this moment at its center.
What could I say now?
That I am a man
empty of desire?
She stood beside the bed,
looking down at me
as if she were dreaming,
as if I were a dream,
as if she too had come
to the final shore of longing.
I lay, calm as a lake
reflecting the nothingness
of late summer sky.
Then she spoke–
she said my name–
and I, who did not love her,
opened my arms.


Richard Jones, The Blessing: New and Selected Poems, Copper Canyon Press, 2000.