After orgasm, the lovers are exhausted,
in a shade under which a shawl is sprawled,
a sun-sieved place where others have lain before,
a basketful of fruit beside them. After sex
they're reminded of laundry, chores to do
before light (like a candle withdrawn from a room)
leaves the eye. Eros has no more hold on them.
What keeps them against the world's intent is a ransom
of the heart. And so they return to those houses
where bodies are ghosts and ghouls behind locked doors,
even though their souls are not for pillows or eiderdowns
or sheets; that place is only where they surreptitiously
wait it all out until they can return here to come again,
and empty each other with what their bodies deem
principal, the way blood shifts and squirms a body.
After orgasm, before going home to start fires
of wood this time, they lick their bodies down
with wet kisses to take the smell and funk out.