Your Love

by Yvette Viets Flaten

At times, your love is a gentle chamomile, steeping
a calming infusion of the palest green liquid.
Or else, it is a timid spring shower
dripping meekly, apologetically, from the roof,
fearing to take me unawares, full of hopeful longing
that I will stir and reach and call your name.

I hear the distant thunder repeat your name
and I turn over, my hot night dreams steeping
desire in my teapot brain; my thirst longing
to be quenched by deep draughts of your liquid
kisses, as harsh first drops of rain strike our roof
and all my empty hours rush upon me like a shower.

Escaping summer heat, I stand in a tepid shower
while you mount stairs calling my name
sweating in heat trapped under our gambreled roof
asking if I want a glass of sun tea steeping
on the back steps. I imagine the iced liquid,
made up as julep, and am filled with a genteel longing.

I hear the distant geese keen their mournful longing
song, as grey autumn clouds herald a shower
that will fill curled leaves with shining silver liquid.
On our walk, we read aloud the headstones' every name,
sobering at losing each other, that fear steeping
in our hearts, until life seems a treacherous rotten roof.

Heavy and muffled, the snow is so thick on our roof
that it brings back fits of youthful longing,
of freezing days, and sleds, and snow pants steeping
in whipped cream drifts, or a bright needling shower
of crystals sweeping on the wind. Now I murmur your name,
to wake you for your measured dose of amber liquid.

They have drained your corpse of all its liquid.
Coming home, I expect Death's raven atop our roof--
my roof, now. I can hardly speak your name.
How I longed for an extra month--an extra week--longing
with all my heart, shielding from you my teary shower
at watching death strengthen in you like Orange Pekoe steeping.

Now I sip my tea alone, my liquid of longing,
recalling that summer--the new roof, the sudden showers
whispering your name, hot sorrow steeping my eyes.