Al Purdy From: Beyond Remembering - The collected poems of Al Purdy. 2000.
When he makes love to the young girl what does the middle-aged long-married man say to himself and the girl? — that lovers live and desk clerks perish?
When neons flash the girl into light and shadow the room vanishes and all those others guests who checked out long ago are smiling and only the darkness of her may be touched only the whiteness looked at she stands above him as a stone goddess weeping tears and honey she is half his age and far older and how can a man tell his wife this?
Later they'll meet in all politeness not quite strangers but never friends and hands touched elsewhere may shake together with brush of fingers and casual eyes and the cleanser cleans to magic whiteness and love survives in the worst cologne (but not girls' bodies that turn black leather) for all believe in the admen's lies
In rare cases among the legions of married men such moments of shining have never happened and whether to praise such men for their steadfast virtue or condemn them as fools for living without magic answer can hardly be given
There are rooms for rent in the outer planets and neons blaze in Floral Sask we live with death but it's life we die with in the blossoming earth where springs the rose In house and highway in town and country what's given is paid for blood gifts are sold that stars' white fingers unscrew the light bulbs the bill is due and the desk clerk wakes outside our door the steps are quiet light comes and goes from a ghostly sun where only the darkness may be remembered and the rest is gone