A hopeful return
red lips and a whisper
a light touch to the side of my face
You, a tight bodied wonder with cascading hair
Entered our world and turned it
like the cake, upside down

You had every man’s attention
you and your coterie of girls
but you were the cherry at the center
a musical gift, a violent violinist
a match made in Hoboken
strike it and it burns

Playing music at a wedding I did not want to be a part of
(who would miss the groom?)
my doubts as I looked at you
a wonder in a smart dress
your talent and your heart
a figment a fracture broke me apart

I never thought I’d see you again
a sweetheart proposal
an anticipation, a promise unfulfilled
intimidated by your artistry
I should have heeded the warning signs:
Merge ahead!
Denial ahead!
Take the wheel and swerve!

But I went ahead and sometimes I look back
on those next five years and feel like my life was on hold
our separation freed me
and like a crisis at midpoint
I rediscovered my youth,
my craziness, my drunkiness
when our lips touched

Asking you up, you refuse
but as I left you spun me around
and planted one, wet, right where it counts
and seven years later it still burns
no wonder lipstick’s the color of flames.