I Steal My Lover’s Words

When we are alone
I steal my lover’s words.

In his silence,
I pick out syllables,
punctuation,
the delicate pauses
lending weight to each thought – –

I am sneaking pieces of him home
in my pockets,
carefully collecting those fragile consonants,
wrapped in napkins and tucked in my wallet,
filed delicately under my pillow
when I lay down to sleep.

At night,
when the fear creeps in
and my hands wring themselves
and my own tongue curls
into venom and sting

I pull them out,
a faint echo
saying only,
“You are brilliant,
you are beautiful,
you are enough.”

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I am embraced by the woman
who embraces the world,
her warm spangled skin pressing softly
and cradling my head and shoulders.

A vertigo overtakes me;
I am twisted off the pavement
my tires spinning wildly
as I am suddenly on a ceiling,
a toy car in the hands
of a spectral toddler.

Suspended here between heaven and earth,
I limply wander between land and sky.
I slowly unwind back onto the road
and the sharp, two-pronged
laugh of the moon
rattles me –

I am not well acquainted with the night it seems,
nor the starry joke She seems to be telling.

March 2012