Bookshelves divide the floor
like oak hedges flowering with poets
I have known and yet to meet. A table and two chairs
catching the window’s fill of light — host our presence upstairs.
The sun cool for September.
You sit reading a thinner book than mine.
Intent, Your hand turns the pages, pressing on words
that match the tone of my personal verse. You sway
in a boat of quiet hours — knowing I love water
and a heron bending his head toward the reeds
watching stillness ripple into threads of sudden
movement. A waver of pewter fish, bluing sky. Meanwhile
I am lost in the middle of hayfields and church bells,
Slovakia’s bread and song. My fingertips wind
through sentences that whisper or wail , feel rough or refined.
Outside, the city chooses its own poetic sounds,
partitions the scenery with brick and marble.
Unpublished as writers, we were showcased there
among the buildings, bookshelves titled with ivy
and shadows of people who walk by, hands clasping
the air, the peal of trolley cars, the shriek of sea gulls.
San Francisco gave us her pulse;
we counted many ways to love her and each other.
Our sum stretched toward the bay, water rinsing off time
and smudging words into the dusklit tide. Lights flickered
and votive fire blessed our throats.
We kissed, a tall volume placed
between Angel Island and a harp-strung gate.