we never can will or want to
escape entire and put behind
Instants of the dividing line
which compels unbidden vision.
see now the ersatz red palace
bulking in the sprawling gardens
the fin de siecle Xanadu
of the decadent century.
hand in hand we drifted as one
ghosts in a darkening summer
down black poplar lined gravel paths
so softly no sound betrayed us.
lips brushed laughter whispered
couples talked in the soft nights
who they were and what they confessed
was unknown and of no concern.
we carried our silent secret
past empty gazebos waiting
tempting stops and hiding places
beside the swan haunted river.
when at last we turned to the pile
dark against a lighter sky
french doors spilled yellow light streams
etching shadows on the hedges.
up the wide stone steps we hurried
into the too bright hall beneath
the glittering crystal facets
and down long corridors we smiled.
so clear and yet questions remain
who were you and was I and
what did we do and why and why
that last year in Marienbad.