The Secret

“They embrace.  But they do not know the secret
in the poet’s heart.”
Candida, George Bernard Shaw

He left before their lips met, leaping off
the last stair with relief.  The old impulse
to put the night between himself and
certainty returned.  Their ringed vows

of attention and devotion would provide.
They were not looking for love, but
willingness.  But he was hurrying toward
the dark trees.  He knew that later,

when they were asleep, when the last star
has set the night to silence, he would
look up through the dark and the stillness,
and the new moon would whisper something.