When the last flower is plucked for prayer and when the shrine is swept clean of foot prints and the floral dead, only you remain- my despair’s choice poison.
When the departing throng jiggles change in its pockets and clamour for food sours both sweat and fatigued limb, only you remain- the bitter fruit of my day’s striving.
When green hills blacken in the fumes of night, leaving a dusk-bled sky, only you remain- my house on the hill slope with its unsleeping lamps.
When books are shut with dog ears cocked and unread pages still protesting, only you remain- my scant store of native wisdom more ancient than alphabet.
When my lute is unstrung and the songsters turn quiet, only you remain- memory’s ever sweet song that is never heard.
When the quest ends and its spoils sorted among account books of the lost and the found, when treasures and staked and won back in the blink of an eye, only you remain- my poem that fell by the roadside.
When rain falls hot and silent, waiting to be seen not heard, only you remain- a brazen butterfly parabola.
When the plates are wiped clean and the roar of toasts are quelled by wine-kissed stupor, only you remain- my wait for the guest who never arrives.
When the last line leaves my pen and my heart is gladdens at a filled page, only you remain- the vengeance of tardy truths.
6 months ago