I Live in a Circle

Nancy Taylor Day

The Testament

Without water one withers, skin
a parchment, last will and testament.

I wrote invitations on a low-tide beach
and wondered why you never arrived.

You walked a long corridor, dusty from
indifference; the custodian swept it clean.

Once I ran uphill, competition in mind,
a Gemsbok my body's mentor.

Once I observed as you practiced
your discipline, an enchanting meditation.

We slowed long enough to catch each
others' breath; shared personal guide books.

A cliff rose above the oceans churning sand
and snook and my heart. We recorded the day.

The photograph fell in love with your
image; I fell in love with your soul.

Choice became a word in some dead language
and the Gemsbok trotted off down the shore.

Camping on the edge of passion
left me breathless, breathless.

I wrote your name in India ink on the inside
of my eyelid, my last solitary testament.

Last updated: 1999-02-14