- Vol. 06
- Chapter 12
In the apartment she stands
with her back towards the window,
hand clasping a cup of tea to her chest,
you with your leather shoes
and hair tied in a knot on top of your head.
She pulls a straight-backed chair
away from the table, sits down,
lets herself relax into the wooden struts.
For you there is a weight,
an unbearable suppression of knowing,
of having eyes that see
through lies and locked doors,
the image of her soft limbs wrapped
around someone else’s.
From her dozing position she
sits up abruptly as you move closer.
Do wide eyes mean surprise or fear?
And you with your fists clenched,
and the immovable image like a nude
painting on the wall, a heat rising
in your neck, earlobes throbbing with blood.
What is the difference between
a hand which grips the seat of a chair
and one around a throat?
Her hands come up to meet yours
fingers gripping at the rough of your skin,
her eyes pleading because she does not
know that you know. Her body rises
as you lift her, her back pushed into the table
and the crack of tea seeping into the table cloth.
There were moments in your life
that seem an imitation of now, your body
pressing hers into furniture
and the same rush of blood, a different emotion.
Her eyes had the same dilated pupils
but her mouth was softer.
You see through her cotton shirt
and linen trousers to her skin below,
smooth and rounded like the small
marble statue on the mantlepiece.
When does an ornament become a crime?
It is cold when you take it in your hand.
She is gasping and rubbing her neck
as you step away from her.
When you raise your arm she is
cowering by the window, fingers gripping
the ledge in desperation.
Your eyes are swelling.
Her body is so fragile, her hair
does not hide her face. You see her
for who she is. Someone you love.
Is a hand that grips an ankle
to plead forgiveness on crouched legs
or to drag a body along the floor?