Cufflink Villanelle

Now I can wear her gift upon my wrists,

The reassembled clock-pieces to link

Our lives, half out-of-time with what persists.

 

These first pair, shared and bought, began the lists

Of contracts of giving, presents for ink,

Now I can wear her gift upon my wrists.

 

The next two are stiff, worn in Cambridge mists,

And I lost one of our favourites – flat stones sink

Our lives, half out-of-time with what persists.

 

I hung rings in her hair – this sight persists

When I wish memory’s eye would wink.

No eye can wear her gift upon my wrists…

 

They only hold together with sharp twists,

Straining but secure, I thought, but now think

Our lives half out-of-time with what persists.

 

But hands that held are impotent, blank fists,

And the last dregs of gladness, those I drink

Now.  Can I wear her gift upon my wrists,

Our lives half out-of-time with what persists?

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