The haiku I would write for you
were illustrated with my sketches, watercolors or
Japanese prints I found in magazines or
postcards from that used bookstore that we
would browse, buy poetry, and read aloud.
I thought of you as my muse.
Eastern and yet so Western. Younger but
also older than me in some ways.
The poem you left on the bed
with an erotic print which I misinterpreted.
Your side of the bed
was still warm, then cold all morning,
afternoon, night, like the Moon
Looking at the old photo of you
taking a photo of me hasn’t faded
though we separated five hundred Moons ago.
Thinking of you with each daylily bloom.
Flowering, falling, returning anew and yet old.
Our first date was forty-four years ago.
At a park after dinner, you said
“The geese are all laughing at us.”
We were young. Unsure. Cautious. We laughed.
Our soft conspiracy continues into tonight’s starlight.
I read that Zelda Sayre went on her first date with F. Scott Fitzgerald on her birthday, July 24, 1918, and years later, in a letter to Scott, she wrote: “The night you gave me my birthday party … you were a young Lieutenant and I was a fragrant phantom, wasn’t I? And it was a radiant night, a night of soft conspiracy and the trees agreed that it was all going to be for the best.”