Count Breaths to Calm
Everywhere I’m expecting rapture—
the one where you disappear. If I call
and you don’t answer, rapture. When
the back door is open and all
I see is yard, rapture. When I can’t see
you over an aisle of clothes, rapture.
When you leave a dish under running water—
I press my head against the sheet and hear
your heart’s voice through your back,
or maybe it’s my own pressing through
my temple, and your body is only sheet,
feather, spring, wood, eventually earth.
I leave my clothes out on the floor for you:
dress the carpet with my silhouette
and hide in the closet naked. Wire hangers
tapping my skin, I am on the verge
of laughter as I watch you in the light
come upon the scene. You smile
and the closet door opens.
I wait for my mother to tuck
what she thinks is me in:
a fluffed pillow for my body,
rolled sheets like an awkward limb.
I hide at the foot of the bed. It’s a childish thrill
to watch someone think you’re there
when you’re really somewhere else.
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