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Love Match
by Michael Graves

To us, it was a game.

Immortal then,
twenty-something 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
(less, of course, the unexpected change of rules
by pieces.)

Every night
at dinner - two alone
in a noisy
college cafeteria,

our board and
our armies of 16
we sat.
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
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

King's knight is prancing.
Out early
cutting corners to get to
The Show.
Moving in all directions
hoping to get some
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,

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
nine-month eternity
we waged.

Until at last,
I looked up
from life.
With flash of crystal insight,
I 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.


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