through all the years of other nights,
the house sleeps under lock and bar
while guarded from the shining heights
by pinprick lights of lonely stars;
but on this eve of mays and mights,
the door remains unlatched, ajar.
white shirts and copper glints of skin
cavort along the darkened street;
I listen as their songs begin
where lovers and the nighttime meet
and feel the longing swell again,
my heartbeat’s cadence bittersweet,
now quickening with the distant beat
of Lupercalia rising high,
as earth’s cool breath curbs daylight’s heat
and midnight rides across the sky,
and lovers, in the nighttime, meet,
paired figures, moonlit, drawing nigh.
their shadows interrupt the glance
of lamplight slanting through the door
and I observe their fingers dance
from where I sit on cold, tiled floor.
in night’s cool air, they breathe a chance,
but pass and then are seen no more.
and I intoxicate myself
with this transcendent loneliness,
with thoughts of you, your newfound wealth
of undiminished happiness.
I raise my glass to toast your health
and wish that I could care the less.