You and Me Among the Gallows
with Guillotines in the Distance
Morning was a whitecap,
The oaks not yet on fire
Like they were two states east, and remember
You said it would be a lovely
Time to see the gallows
And see for the first time
How dawn breaks through the long
Frame, the trapdoor napping,
Its silver hinges like wings, just a glimmer.
You wanted to be moved by the absence
Of the angel of the lord, not yet
Arrived and still tired from all that heavy lifting,
The crows cooing and cawing.
Throngs of people somewhere else still hovering
Above their coffee and eggs, the only soul
Was a dog that lifted his head at our footfalls,
Thinking it crazy that you
And I’d be here so near morning,
A bone in his lap picked clean.
You fixed on one prinked with roses
And asked that I tell you one true thing
And I, making a move, kissed you,
The sun by now lumbering up the platform
Revealing rows of gallows,
Scattered like skyscrapers rising from a deserted city
In a valley—the two of us—lovers among the gallows—
Dressed to the nines in our brokenness and vows,
Never was there a thing so human,
And if we stood still too long
Ivy would root up our feet.