one night


i wake up with a start. i've been in a timeless deep.

except that i was always aware of you lying beside me

and i’ve managed to keep from waking you. 

down there, i said the exact truth
and you willingly accepted our fate.
but now, in morning, in the shallowness of my cramped twin bed,
your back is to me.

i lay there, aching to snake my arms around you and knowing it isn’t allowed. so

i wrap them around myself, cup my own ass and hold still.
if i wake you, it will be over.

i recall us laughing about everything.
laughing about the power water could hold.
do you know what kind of power you have over me? do you know what kind of liquid i am

when you were looking at me and laughing, rolling me over in your waves and showers?

how? i barely know you.

but last night you knew me
over and over.
i let you.
i didn't know who held what power ­­

i couldn't know, i couldn't stand.

 even awake, i am in the deep.
not because you knew me last night
but because even lying here with your back to me, you still do.

i’m going to risk the end.

i inch over, tighten my abs until i can kneel on hands and knees.
i arch my back, hold my breath, balance just right

so the mattress doesn’t give way,

so my breathing doesn’t give me away.

i dive my nose straight in
hunting for a last hint of smell.
lasting proof that you did lie here
that you touched these sheets,
that you were mine,
my wave of time.

for once, you couldn’t escape.
you let yourself go long enough to
find a warm bed, to

find one with me.

i can smell you, though it’s hard to source

the real you is inches away.

or is this the scent of last night-you?

sheets or skin? too close to call.

i grasp the sheet, make a tight fist
hold it like i want to hold you,

and will with all my might
to preserve proof
that will stay long after you have left. 

you told me, with your palm pressed flat against my chest, exactly what this meant to you.

beyond that was

my choice, my blame.
but how could i explain?

there was never a choice

in you.

in you,

i never had a say.