The night is biting cold,
the cobbled streets empty
and we walk, already drunk on aquavit and lust
up the hill where a single light
marks the restaurant door
where we will dip bread in melted cheese tart with wine,
lick burgundy from thin-glassed goblets,
the tannin aroma bitter, ripe as blood,
and by candlelight
quiver with constant desire.
Outside the Alps rise above the village
and we stumble home, he’s singing
and I’m aflame with being wanted,
I have never felt so singular, my skin so cold,
and we hurry back through the lobby
where the night porter watches.
We move toward the stairs,
melting into one another,
back to cold white sheets,
dark musty walls smelling of history,
and our bodies are hot against the crisp linen,
rustling as we fall,
as we move,
the window in our room opens to
frozen December night air,
where darkness and ice have their own kind of light,
ruby heat shining through the black

and I think I will never again
know exactly this kiss, this hand,
this smell,
this delicious dark danger
this ecstatic safety.