a winter’s fire

Old NY Taxi Driver

i know you,
know you well enough to know
you could rip off the mask
and devour me,
teeth dripping with blood and viscera
on the night of the fiftieth anniversary
of our first date.
i know you,
know you like an old taxi driver
knows the shortcuts to desire,
no matter how they try
the young drivers will never
beat me to the doors of pleasure.
i know you,
know you like an old master
knows his cello,
if i pluck just there
draw the bow just there
you will sing for me,
or whisper,
or shout.
i know you,
like an old choir director knows his sanctuary,
knows where every false note will linger,
making the old men move restlessly in their pews,
and the young ones wonder how long before
it’s time to eat.
i know you,
but i don’t know you at all.
i know you,
but it’s the mystery that draws me back
to those hidden teeth,
those eyelids shuttering
the need to rend and tear
flesh from bone,
laughter from pain,
summer love from a winter’s fire.

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