Who Finishes the Sentence

Will drink the new wine. The only conversation
I’ll have this weekend
is with you. If
erythrophobia was fatal, you would have been

a serial killer. Or was it just me?
Not yet vintage, I wanted to be
your only victim. A true enough
kiss to taste the tobacco

before it became my own. I long
to be the person again
who comes along
to stir yours. Though I can’t lick

your ghostly replies, the scent is rich
in pre-fall burning. Hold the leaves.

Erythrosin

What was once a blush
you so eagerly sought
to induce has become

a flush
into my middle
age. The gap has been shrinking

steadily for nine years. I hope to catch
you in another nine. Grief—nothing
embarrassing about it.

Peony

Acacia or yellow
tulips won’t do. Lime
blossoms too much, bellflowers
not enough. No,

I choose you
because it was the heat
rising from my throat
across my cheeks

to my ears
that he wanted
to generate.

Nothing more, nothing less.