for Steve

Sometimes our life together is sprawling behind us
like a twisty ribbon of road through the hills.

Sometimes we’re both in the car together.
Sometimes I see one of us on the side of the road
signaling for a pick up while the other drives on.
It’s a small red convertible,
though we’ve never owned one.
Vintage, like we are. It’s got a name that’s sexier
than we’ve ever been: Spitfire or Bugatti.

Sometimes even in the tiny car together,
there are ghosts between us staring
like the creepy dolls in movies
that can’t be killed, the eyes always open
even when ours flutter in the dark.

Or we forget to look at each other and only look
at the road ahead which always disappears
behind a sun-browned hill, before
I can see where it goes.

I’d say this was a sweet recipe
for growing old together,
one without the usual amount of sugar,
but it’s always been this way with us,
meetings, partings, a softness in your voice at last
and your eyes finally here, waiting for me this time
after a long spell of distance.
The unseen surprises us every time,
the road unfurling as we drive.

I used to chase the car when I saw you
speed past without even noticing me
shouting your name. Now there is enough history
to know it won’t be long before you remember.
And anyway, there’s always a nice view
on the road while I wait.