You didn’t ask me what they were

Those ‘reservations’ I spoke of

When we met.

You were surprised, you said, that I seemed indifferent to you.

Did I not find you attractive?

How could I miss that exquisite vintage dress?

Yes I noticed your dress.

I noticed your hair, greying gracefully

Seamlessly blending with youthful blonde.

I noticed your sky-blue eyes

Still sparkling. Fierce.

I noticed your dancer’s form

Straight-backed, strong, defiant.

I noticed your mouth, smiling, always

As I’d seen in your photographs.

Your lips in bold (not garish) red

As you spoke unguardedly

Of your son, your marriage,

The stroke that tore your life apart.

The agony of autism and precocious talent.

The loss of your (later) life’s work

The cruel betrayal of those you trusted to mind it

The petty councillors who dare stand in your way

As you build a life

Yet again

From nothing.

That day when we left

You moved to kiss my cheek

A moment too late as we hugged lovelessly.

And in that tiny gesture

I saw much more

Than all the words you shared.

We meet again

I see my recklessness exciting you.

‘I ride without a helmet’

I would later boast

As if you didn’t know.

But I knew then

I must not kiss you.

That would be to exploit you

And I will not do it.

So I talk of other women

Create distance between us.

I think I’m in control.

We meet again

We sit by the door, distant.

Now inside but the light too bright.

But we eat and drink and

Now we’re walking, talking, laughing

Like lovers.

My guard is down

We arrive at the gate

I kiss you.

And now I have done it.

I am no longer in control.

My desire rises up and takes the wheel.

I must have you in my bed.

I go to any lengths.

Stop at nothing.

Your protest is so unconvincing

And I know it will be so.

And there it is.

Tender, loving, exquisite.

We make love and rest and repeat.

Your sex as powerful as you.

You sleep beside me.

In the half-light

I stare at the beauty of you.

See your story written on your smooth skin.

I am close to tears.

And now it is daylight

And we’re saying our goodbyes.

I see you turn at that last minute

To see if I’m still watching you.

Like the old song.

And of course I am.

It is the next day now

Your friends are checking in.

Are you OK? Was it wonderful?

You smile and nod and yes it was but…

Something is nagging at you.

My freewheeling is exciting

But leaves you insecure.

Will there be other women?

Even now?

Well, yes. Probably.

And so?

We carry on, I hope.

We laugh, make love.

Text long into the night.

There may be others in my life

And of course in yours.

Is that too much?

Not enough?

If so, I understand

I will walk away if you wish.

But I hope

You’ll stay.