You sent postcards from Pisa and Florence,
I stayed in the suburbs of Paris. I no longer
bothered to go to the market
for cheese and mussels and gutted
rabbits with their
furry paws and small exposed kidneys.

Afternoons slid into evenings, but it never
got dark enough for supper. The children
ate hard-boiled eggs, and I drank
white wine, sitting on the grass in full
view of the neighbors.

When night silenced the last
game of hide and seek
I got ready, undressing
in the dark. I opened
the windows and lay down
with my face toward the night,
breathing the cool air, and waiting
for sleep and for that amorous
presence to enter our room

like the gleam
of red gold hair twisted with pearls,
like veils spun from amethyst, wine
foaming in a sea shell:
the discourse
of nightingales.