force of habit

my body weight too close to the edge
pops sheets off the mattress
every night
twined in dreams of struggle
i wake tangled in
percale knots

memories shove me
to the far side of the bed
your cold-rolled steel voice
my bruises shaped like gripping fingers
extra makeup, unlikely explanations

     Parents’ day, private school
     earnest conversations with headmaster.
     Smiling couple, half a foursome
     for Saturday tee time.
     Nicely dressed family, usual pew,
     early Easter service:
          scars hidden by sunlight.

i’d rather fight loose sheets
than you
i’d rather feel them
under me
than you beside me

a touch from you
no matter your intent
carries with it a force
i can’t afford to forget

2004

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2 comments

  1. Tiptoeing gently around so as not to stir her sleeping lions.

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