Kissing his cheek. Swallowing water. An orgasm.

Blooms on the nightstand. Too many peaches to eat.

A bit of that drench. A residue.

Can’t reenact though we try and try.

Ecstasy belongs to the past, when twenty,

when back then, when all-out and youth burn.

A lyrical time. I revisit it in dreams

as one who’s abdicated.

As the purest once-lapsed nun.

From Skeletons by Deborah Landau. Copyright © 2023 by Deborah Landau. Reprinted with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC, on behalf of Copper Canyon Press.