Sequence After Hours

Let me half awake or sleep.
Dog-eared pages of our glory
re-invite an idle peep:
aura of a sordid story,

outside ’phones and work-snatched time,
untrue statements and half-lies
and lies outright, this mental crime
practised on her I only prize . . .

Tell me no more, I will not hear
the soily words that cluster round
a second’s light, a half-hour clear
delight, an evening lost and found

in later time through this small life.
Body-lover, I’ll tell our tale
till stars snap out. And you, my wife,
who almost hear me, love won’t stale

because my body loves elsewhere.
The times are stale, none shoots them clean
without a shudder, second’s scare,
shrunk moment, flash-by hideous scene.

You are the love I have forgotten,
hurt mermaid with the undeceived face;
and you, a body that takes me often,
you are the hurt that I embrace.

Let me half awake or sleep
but not be troubled by these lives
that twine and twist – and separate keep,
as should all mistresses and wives.

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