Issue Thirty-Two - Summer 2018

What Hours Were These Ours

By Chet Corey

The ends of weeks–
their mornings, middle hours.
Beginnings. Once
when I brought forgiveness
from my rock garden,
gone two years neglected:
tiger lilies, one white bloom
from a bush, possibly
a yellow gardenia
in a half-filled carafe.

We had breakfasted
in our back booth
with its bright placemat
of window sun,
like an extra setting.
I hung my jacket
across the curtainless
frame of its window
and we were comfortable.

On these mornings alone,
I want to order,
as if by request, “Our Song,”
a note sent to the piano bar:
Play “Eggs scrambled,
hash browns, black coffee.
Whole wheat toasted well.”

Dance me
into transparent mornings
when you were crazy
for my back-booth comfort.

If we interrupted each other,
our voices were light rain
threading sky–
words between waves
like raindrops, the fall
of a willow leaf upon water,
lap of wave, sparkle
reflected overhead to bridgework,
leap of a trout–throat open!

We divvied up the bill,
an easy equation between equals.
Tipped too much,
unsteady in our canoe of
longing, gunnels underwater.
I ate your lemon wedge
and we left — entered
into the stream of remembering.

Copyright Corey 2018