Most winter nights, my friend and I
walked the lean back roads that curved
and dipped away from town until we’d left
campus lights behind. We walked past empty
fields, past farms where ramshack meadows,
ripe in summer with second growth, lay stilled
by snow. We did not mind that cold was sere–
it just made our nostrils cling. Our route never
changed: we walked four miles out, passed
the old schoolhouse, the brook; listened
to its watery guttural, turned at a farmhouse,
where between two barns the art historian’s
white-washed walls held Coptic scrolls,
fabrics from Provence. Through bare
window panes, golden with lamplight,
we sometimes watched him cleaning up.
She thought she loved me; and I, him.
Love was the darkness moving with us.