Excerpts > Spring 2004

Nancy O'Dea Reddy
August Villanelle

August Villanelle

Late August nights, sky cooling, bright with fireflies:
I keep remembering the ache and burn
of sunsets, scarlet threads through broken skies.

These nights alone are quiet now. The sighs
of stars echo my pulse with your return
this August night. Cool sky bright with fireflies,

the sullen shadows flood your blue-gray eyes.
Each neighborís porch light flares up in turn
as the sun sets, scarlet threads through broken skies.

My muscles tense with memory, the surprise
of your thick breath again. I canít unlearn
those August nights, sky cooling, bright with fireflies.

Iím watching your profile and I realize
youíre never really coming home. Still I yearn
for sunsets, scarlet threads through broken skies,

your palm against my hip, the solemn cries
for touch. Youíre gone, you leave nothing but the burn
of August nights, sky cooling, bright with fireflies,
the sunsets, scarlet threads through broken skies.


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