In the room I knew which cloak was Carrie's, it
was soft and full and blue like Marin's sea and the sky
above it near where cliffs grow rugged and blackened chips
of them rattle into the foam and are swallowed
and are forgotten even by birds
who used them for creche
and table and courting stage, and
in the room, too, was Esme(e)'s cape swirling rich
round her long shapely legs a tumult of subtle maroon.
A sad hue, some
thought, but I knew better. It was magnificent,
as was she, and suited her and
magnified her and drew her to the faultless lights
in corridors of theaters and opera houses,
entryways of lauded mansions, solemn
halls of law and legislature
where she swept up eyes and every yearning heart
though she would remain still as
the cutting blade once finished.
were, in that room, other
things of Esme(e)'s. I could not help but see them
and in seeing know them.
the soft secret of the night only then trembling
comes the hope of escape. Like a whisper through
the fruited grove left abandoned 1 might expect
during the darkness by bird
and bug and animal and thief forgotten
1 might think
with reason and be wrong.
There was no escape for me.
Had they known it all along?
They were not indiscriminate in
songs, costumes, smiles, tales, secrets. Invitations.
It may not have been an invitation but a warning.
Equally impossible to ignore.
Had they known this?
Sad hue, sad seconding, sad
and worn the cape the
last I saw of it. I knew it, of course.
They possessed her lustre. They took her light.
They waited for her gift
of her as did many. (1
did not need to know Esme(e). Seeing her 1 desired only to
know her; desiring brought the quickened vital beat which engendered knowing
or so 1 thought, wanting
so desperately, purely.)
The room was
possessed of her glories and echoed with her sadness.
For Esme(e) sadness was no lingering malaise, no
moist and hopeless sorrow but rather a
proud and strengthened adversary worthy and demanding never
relinquishing and never abating, never lessening
the gripping challenge and like a foul sliver driven
to the quick of 1's heart not
potent enough to kill, not small enough to slough
or swallow and heal that
that treasured, incomparable heart whose
nature formed from breath of Esme(e)'s spirit
never before known.
gods, heroes, sprites, demons, griffins, and gnomes,
what did they know of it? They could not see it,
they could not recognize it, and
so they could not envy it 1
I knew it.
I could not
save what was unsavable.
I could not
free myself and remain myself sunken
into caverns, courtesies, clever
with glaceed reproach.
It was inevitable.
hid the knife of destruction sugared
desolation how much more did
Esme(e)'s courage and intrepid spirit demand, did
demand more than any immortal could withstand
and so they did not need envy
or anger or impatience to act; I could see that;
I could see that coming.