Scratches in the Wax

                    For André Saffier—

                                        A sapphire for a king, / mined from the heart of a real knave, /
                                        this jack of diamonds / betting everything on him / who, if he cannot smooth /
                                        these crude edges, might make of his / roughest friend someone tame—

                    Love it is that two souls,
when seeking their own reflection,
                    greet before noon sundown’s
shadow thrown long, wading in its
                    wintered mouth as both drown,

sharing a glimpse of hopelessness,
                    letting swallow them this
coldness those with less-bold motives
                    call callousness, this wish
triumphant when, in peril, two

                    pictures of the same fate
kiss, vain intentions made nobler
                    in that moment we all
mistake for bliss, never knowing
                    that its threat of loss is

what makes existence ecstasy,
                    that someday we never
will again makes life worth living,
                    and its experience
worth sharing, and so for this truth

                    still seeking, I would be
lying if I tried to hide my
                    desire and suppressed its
centuries of smokeless fire, this
                    demon scorching hands and

hearts as, like tarnished tongues, my mind’s
                    darkest unkindness of
ravenous thoughts tills ash, thirsting
                    to quench what paths language
limits, drinking in compliments

                    as I conspire to be
your companion, asking again,
                    can I have another
chance, or am I just dripping words
                    like scratches in the wax?