Unconsummate

A bed of pine needles
because it’s Massachusetts.
You wear a shirt studded
with diamond-shaped snaps
two nights in a row. I’ll never tell

you how I like the gray
in your beard
the way I told him never
to shave his off
30 years ago. I won’t mix

you up. The music is
immortal. The flowers he grew
were something else.

Woburn, Mass.

So this is the setting
of those high school days I made
you long for. This is you

at the age I was
when we met. So that was your secret
ambition. That’s your smile

before the war
bent it out of shape. So this is me
trying to make sense of the ultimate

why

our paths crossed in the exact
tangled deformation
they did.