Thursday, November 20, 2008

Did you hear the bells on my ankle bracelet?

Got back so late the stairwell was dark, so I held onto the sticky railing all the way up to the top floor, where you were sleeping with the door to our apartment ajar, the curtains inside drawn and windows open. It was chilly in the room, but I stripped down to nothing before I crawled under the duvet and nosed your shoulder. A wind blew the white gauze curtains out like ghosts in the room, and I guzzled your whole mug of cold tea, schwushing it around in my mouth before swallowing.

You groaned and rolled over into me, and I pushed you back, snuggled into your warm spot and drew my knees up. Things rolled around on the floor of the attics at each corner, but you didn't wake. I put my hands on your hipbones and slept.

In the middle of the night the wail of a train drew me upright, shivering and clutching for blankets or pillow, anything to anchor me in the dark, to hold me to you, your waking moments and unguarded smile, the ways I'm undone by the unbuttoned pyjama top worn and wrinkled with our life, torn at one elbow where so often you leaned reading late at night while I made my way home somewhere, the tink tink of jewelry accenting slow leather-soled footsteps.

Failing you, and finding you still here, warm at my fingertips, the wind howling in the night outside, the frayed white sheets, the alarm clock ticking loudly in a quiet so full of waiting I could hardly breathe.....