You left your scarf in my purse
and I wore it all week
just for the smell of you.
Scallops. Smoke. The wine
that stained your tongue.
Leather and trees. I take this
currency to bed with me, sleep in a nest
with the ghost of our sweat, lament changing
sheets on laundry day. The road home
becomes a simple question of scent:
the crackle of almost-snow
where I was pulled over past Worcester;
the 7-11 where we pried open the car's bent hood
to feed her another quart of oil;
the alley behind Local Burger
where I lifted my dress to show you
the tops of my stockings. My skin blooms
with lost proximity--bruises smaller
than new purple irises. The memory of teeth
in my shoulder. The print of your rushed thumb
on my wrist. Forgive my stumble. I am still
a young horse, no matter how broken.
All I know of falling is finding the ground.
The Dreams Let Me Out
The first night, my hand
rested on the stove's front left burner.
Pink marks from where the flame licked
The second, the dream was full of fiddles,
of stairs that turned my ankles
easy. I fell four flights,
woke to my forearm's throb.
The third night, I woke up
face pressed to boiler. The fire's rumble
more dangerous in the dark.
does nothing. The dreams let me out. Some call
sleepwalking the quietest way to break, that the separate
self should not be scolded for its itch.
The fourth night, I woke up to the moon, water
climbing from nightgown hem. A shark
at my feet in the stream behind
the house, barely covered by that shallow depth.
I am sure sharks do not sleep. All of it is dreaming.
I cannot imagine the places this fish has
found himself, how the edges blur
when every living minute is awake.