Ryan Wilson

For a One Night Stand


Again lamplight cheats time and space.
Pressed to your window there’s a face
like mine, suspended in the night
where cars lean into slanted sleet,
scanning the warmth and wreckage of this room
while, lost in a cloudburst of perfume,
already done with us, hair tied,
mascara, rouge, and lip-gloss plied,
fixing that ice-white negligee
just before the turn away
from the mirror and the vanity
you glance, reflecting, at the bed, and me.
But, in that dubious windowpane,
another face appears again.
And this one, equally my own,
is drawn by some distraction
away from you, from the bed where we
thumbed through a battered Odyssey...
out to the street, and across the park,
snow shimmering, wind-blown through the dark,
to this place, removed by miles and years,
where nothing ever disappears
and I am still as I was then,
looking out and looking in,
sure only what is mine to love
is never quite the life I live.