my throat is dry.

I swallow


You glance at your watch,

tap your foot.

I chew my lips to shreds,

pick my cuticles until they bleed,

my body compensating for the lack of blood

flowing out of me.

In my mind, I try to count

the number of cigarettes I've had

1, 10, 16, 100

the number of drinks

3, 7, 12, lost count

the number of days

it's been

since your skin was meddled on my skin.

I shiver.

You check your watch again.

How long has it been?


the question hangs the air

like dirty laundry out to dry.

I swallow


A contraction of two nouns and a verb.

Your eyes find mine

impatient, confused,

you tug at my skirt,

waiting for me to shed my socially acceptable garments,

waiting to ravish my body in this hidden light.

If you hurry, you'll make it to the party tonight.

I bite my lips and my teeth sink through skin.

A metallic taste fills my mouth, as if I'm sucking

on a spoon.

The only thing I'm sucking on

is silence.

You sigh.

I blurt.

You pale.

I hurt.

But do not apologize.

I count the seconds 

as you count the possibilities,

abortion, miscarriage, asking me again and again

"You aren't going to keep it,

you can't keep it,

can you?"

I don't know, can I?

"Why are you telling me this,

it's your business."

But we both know it's your burden

even if I'm the one to carry it.

You hold your palms up to me,

as if to say stop,


don't shoot.

"Jesus Christ."

you curse, and I wonder if

that's what Joseph said

when Mary told him

she was knocked up.

A hell of a way to name a baby.

Jesus, Christ.

"How long?"

you ask, at last,

but I'm still counting on my fingers and toes

if it's been long enough for my child to have

fingers and toes as well.

"Tomorrow." I say,

and you nod, offering to pay.

I take your blood money,

your burnt offering.

After you leave, I count the tears

that slide down my face.

1, 2, 3, 4

until a river forms.

The End

0 comments about this poem Feed