Night-Blooming Jasmine

No, even though
his touch unfurls

the frowsy camellia's lack of restraint,
soothes the cool profusion of

slick-leafed calla lilies,
thumbs the tangled

tumble of honeysuckle, even so
I do not

love the man
beside me tonight.

The candles I know
by name,

the sesame oil's
skin-warmed aroma,

that second-hand moon.
Light sloshes bare skin.

Awkward thigh-step till toes touch
wood in the Japanese tub,

I try to set anchor,
ghost ship off shore.

Wild raccoons venture
out of the canyon, rest

an hour under the evening star
perched on the fence post—

inland lighthouse guiding
wayward birds of paradise.

There is no love
in the world

from this moment.

This moment that slips
incognito into

small waves
breaking away

from our bodies, waves
spilling starlight

over the tub's rim,
starlight we step in,

our reflections
break, waver.