|adapted from Wikimedia Commons|
It's a moment like a few others,
with an arm around an old girlfriend,
naked next to each other after an evening
of laughter, debate, and wine,
auburn hair against my cheek,
breasts against my sternum;
and in that moment, she shivers, sighs.
She doesn't believe in love -
so she's said many times - and though we
had sex the night before
she doesn't want it now, I can tell.
She crouches into me,
careful where she puts her legs,
determined to stay celibate for the night
but ashamed, a little guilt-ridden.
So she pretends to be more tired than she is.
It's a moment of reflection.
I feel the breath of her sigh on my throat,
think about how she hurt me before,
how terrible and wonderful she was,
how she 'wants to be friends.'
And I realize she will run away,
just like last time,
now that we've had sex.
The only difference is, this time she feels guilty
and she doesn't wear her makeup to bed
and, just maybe, she's not so afraid
to show me herself.
And I think, 'Well, it's silly, but
I guess I do love her.'
I can't help chuckling.
She has already told me tonight
she does not love me.
"Okay, what is it?" she says.
"Oh," and I pause to feel certain,
discover that there is not even a thought needed.
“I’m seeing dream images, I guess.
Maybe I’m tired.”
“Can we just rest?” she suggests.
Her body curves in tighter to mine.
But she is not really tired,
not either of us, really,
so I listen to her breathing for half an hour
before her rhythm relaxes
and she begins to sleep in my arms.