After asking permission to sit
I held your hand and examined it;
five pages, each embedded with more meaning
than infinite libraries. I flicked
from page to page, and finally
I touched the palm, this mystic object
I could not parse, not then.

Deaf to your breathing, your signature, your eyes
I let it fall, then left the bed
and left your room, and you.
I do not think we ever spoke again.

Histories and worlds enfold this move
inevitable as it was; from here it seems the fulcrum
of a trajectory not taken –
As an old satellite, decaying orbit
suddenly snags the atmosphere and falls
silent in the darkness, till the planet’s roaring
shakes it out, it rips apart;
just so, I left the building.

And now, from time to time, in another land
I dwell upon your hand.

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