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.
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.