Mark Conway

Marginalia on Our Bodies

Not that evening, early, when
we begged for retro-rockets to slow
the turning of the moon
to mud, or the bitch
star to light the grounds
of new rendezvous, oh we liked it —
the selected pleasures
of that modernity.
I especially remember
secondary relics: the rasp
of your lips, saliva, the salt
flat of your belly.


Now we slip
toward vespers, singed
by a slight twist
of vodka, humming
in the clear velocity
that shoots us past
the nights when I was plausible,
and yours. Here we sit with snapshots,
nodding, pretending
to remember our regret.
                                         Or, work
to work all over, in the following
light. We bank
on restoration by dinner,
an annulling thump of hunger…


and search again at midnight
on the cliffs
of your bare torso
for the scrawled marginalia left fading,
words we wrote, in tongues
and lip, into the vellum
of our younger skin. Beneath
your breast, I find crude
Sanskrit praising the gods we left
and the gods that left us,
           In the last night,
when workers come to gather us
as we were, they’ll see
    the scars used to mark
where we’d been hurt
on skin brilliant
and eternal as tattoos.