We had rented, I remember, a room with a balcony.
How many days and nights? Five, perhaps--no more.
Even when we weren't touching we were making love.
We stood on our little balcony in the summer night.
And off somewhere, the sounds of human life.
We were the soon to be anointed monarchs,
well disposed to our subjects. Just beneath us,
sounds of a radio playing, an aria we didn't in those years know.
Someone dying of love. Someone from whom time had taken
the only happiness, who was alone now,
impoverished, without beauty.
The rapturous notes of an unendurable grief, of isolation and terror,
the nearly impossible to sustain slow phrases of the ascending figures--
they drifted out over the dark water
like an ecstasy.
Such a small mistake. And many years later,
the only thing left of that night, of the hours in that room.