The Only Time



We met at the wrong time,
which, as chance would have it,
is always the right time. No one
who doesn’t know will ever know
what passion can do to calendars.
Over the subject of death we first
laid eyes on each other. Teacher
and student in heated dialogue.
Such lessons, long discussions of how
living and dying were born together,
how death brought living to life
and life gave dying to death.
Eyes. Words. Then hands slowly
held in the terror of turning
a corner from which there was no
returning. Down the road we went
until our hands found other places
to rest. As spring became summer
and the sun stood utterly still,
holding its breath in anticipation
of a great turning point,
we became one under the perfect gaze
and blessing of a luminous full moon,
made love to a regal rhythm
unknown to us before this time,
the right time, the wrong time.
The only time there was.
The only time there is.

Edward Curtin is a writer whose work has appeared widely. He teaches sociology at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. His website is


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