Now that she is old, Helen walks on the beach
Remembering her old lovers
The temperamental merging of sea and sand
Makes her ponder men and women
Currents are wanderers
But it’s tectonic plates that are hard –
The stupid analogy falls apart
And Helen laughs and orders
Half a liter of wine on the corner.
Every woman in a silk dress
Lets her look back in time at herself –
Clavicles now are more fashionable than breasts
But Helen doesn’t mind
The past is the past.
When Helen walks home, the stars
Look down upon her between power lines
The nights are getting longer
The Earth is already calling from beneath
Helen’s light but callused feet.
And peeking out from behind Earth’s shoulder is the Sun
Waiting for its chance to swallow everyone
Though the Sun will deny this and say,
“I’ll only call you home some day.”
At home Paris lies facedown on the couch
Waiting for the camphor and peppermint oil
That Helen will rub into his wide back –
Into constellations of freckles and muscle gone slack.
Love is more than cells that arrange themselves into flesh, Helen believes
But still she likes to think she has a little time left
To keep touching him.