Howard Firkin
You rescued me with that kiss, syrup sweet,
the vodka’s sting, the suddenly connected
press of lips, the wholly unexpected
second kiss: the moment as eyes meet.
You rescued me and left me breathing, breathless.
Your smile is birdsong in the dark, it sings
of desert air, the silhouette of trees
against a dark horizon, evening breeze,
the smear of sun, of burning wood shavings.
Your smile persists beyond its time, deathless.

You made me leave you there. I turned to see
you smile a gentle, dark-eyed, farewell kiss.
You stayed, but something of you left with me,
and something stayed. It’s something that I miss.