la petite mort

Lounging on my bed,

You read to me from that

Battered book, your voice

Gravelly and gravely picking

Apart the sentences into words,

Then words into sounds, weighing

Them down, burying them in the moment.

I scratch your chin, cactus like,

And your face rumples with your smile.

My heart threatens treason so I busy my mouth.

Distracted, your voice hangs in the air,

Squirming under this duress.

Then it’s over.

You pull me to your throbbing chest

Picking up that old, battered book,

And I listen intently, but don’t hear a word.


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