Posted by: Ron DuBour | June 28, 2018

“Love Match”~by Michael Graves


 

 

“Love Match”

Image may contain: one or more people

To us, it was a game.

Immortal then
twenty and nineteen and drifting.
Passing life at breakneck speed.

I wrote
and lived for music.
She captured the world
on film.
A skater, her blades carved
my dreams.
And from those carvings came songs.

And we studied.
And we played
in tandem on a blissful run behind
the Gates of Eden.

Our life was chess, and chess is life
(minus, of course, the unexpected change of rules
by pieces.)

Every night
at dinner – two alone
in a noisy, crowded college cafeteria.

Our board and
our armies of 16, we sat
eye-to-eye
blue to brown
joined at the board.
A different plane.

Conversing in moves.

Pawns advancing
one step
at a time
to meet pawn.
Slowly savoring
each step
of the erotic pavane.
Making the most of
each move.
She’ll “take” on a diagonal
or from behind, if the other is quick enough
to pass.
A slow mover, but transcendent
in the tango of the end game.

King’s knight is prancing.
Out early.
Cutting corners to get to
The Show.
Moving in all directions
hoping to get some
satisfaction.
Flashy riding.

Queen’s knight charges
recklessly in and out
defending all at once
from every comer.

Cool and distant
she claims, to the end
until she too
in heated lust of battle
is captured.

The tall bishop
with his heady crown
always waiting. Always yearning.
Poised for the incisive
long
diagonal
strike.

Rooks trembling with eagerness to escape
their defending pawns
and get some action of their own.
Always the escape artists.
But once only.

The nimble way she used
her knights
enthralled me.
Her lascivious look as queen took bishop.
Positioning – always positioning
in the dance.

For an all too short nine-month eternity,
we waged.

Until at last
I looked up from life.
With a flash of crystal insight.
And saw the sprite across from me
commanding an army.
She castled

And I was left.
Downed king and empty chair.
And the game.

Too fragile to last
too tough to be forgotten.

No chance of mate.

–Graves 3/31/17


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