You were softly stroking the little dog in your lap
until she whimpered a small sigh and fell asleep.
Then you closed your eyes, because peace is within.
You go there often, because it beckons you.
Outside, the breeze had come up and garden stalks
were swaying gently back and forth, like devices
the hypnotist employs to create a trance.
In the trance, faces appear, are visibly transformed,
then disappear, replaced by the shadows waiting
in line for their chance to step forward into flesh.
Before, they had made promises to each other
which some would keep and others would not,
because in this mirror world of sly deceptions
and unexpected temptations, we discover
how we really are.
You are kind, you mixed your tears with mine
in the same way streams run down the mountain
and join with each other, where a forest animal
stoops to drink, and it is cool and refreshing.
The animal relaxes for a moment, not because
it feels suddenly safe and invulnerable,
but because being alive is sweet.
I wouldn’t have known that if we hadn’t met –
that being alive in this moment is sweet —
or maybe I’d pretend, but I’d be fooling
myself, and when alone in my room,
I’d be pierced by the lie of it.