It is kumquats for Keats
and a celebration in couplets.
The Happy Birthday you won't sing me
and the candles I won't have.
It was seeing June in 1994
slumbering through an endless summer.
Tuesdays were clementines and liqueur
burning a stream-bed along the path of the throat.
Teeth cracking the Jaffa cake crust
releasing a tang as thick as lava to the tongue.
It was the first dress I ever brought you
still sitting in the wardrobe unworn.
The walks down Via dei Fori Imperiali
the sun burning off the wall
and that sunset in Paris
trellised through the Eiffel Tower.
It was the day you told me
and I sat lost within the wash of it.
Do you remember Frigiliana
and reaching out to pick the perfect fruit?
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