Found her on the Hanalei sands,
silhouetted in the morning sun,
arms akimbo, kelp
across her torso
like a sarong in the wind.
Taste of Muscatel was in my mouth,
peonies on the nose—
she used to mist perfume at the ceiling,
let it fall in her hair.
Used more every year.
That warm, bright body had struggled
in the starlight, broken free
for a last-ditch dash,
labored breaths coming in
detached, cinematic rasps.
She was dead by my hand, and
I am damned. Yes sir, damned.
I brush fingers over her throat,
watch the tide, the mites hopping
from eyes to scalp.
I’d been the beau. She’d been the bride,
a fireside lover to too damn many.
I’ll forgive her when bodily
we’re galvanized again
in fury and damnation.