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Taken by Stealth

by David Adès

Alert, aware, I had all bases
covered or so I thought.
No problems here. I watched
the addicts’ sad and lonely dance

with alcohol, drugs, sex, food,
television, casinos, every little bet,
without contempt, put out
the spot-fires of my addictions,

leaving singes, burnt patches,
holes in my pockets,
some salutary lessons survived
without wholesale destruction.

The first time I stripped,
stood naked before you,
it felt good. I liked your eyes
alighting on my body,

shy as little birds,
the flicker of your desire
a fire I didn’t want to put out.
Where was the harm in that?

Things start so innocently,
marked by a spark, curiosity,
marked by good intentions.
I stripped, and stripped again,

not sensing I couldn’t stop,
not sensing nakedness was just
the start, that after clothes
would come heart, soul,

would come skin and flesh,
muscle and sinew, until nothing
was left but the blazing light
of galaxies between my bones.

Copyright © 2017 by David Adès

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