Leaning on the sink rinsing the cherries
I feel a contraction low in my belly
I’m not pregnant, I’m misaligned
somewhere in my core
an eruption with the force
of shifting tectonic plates
threatens to swallow me
heartbreak is an earthquake
precipice in every direction

the dinner hour sneaks up on me
I have no recall of movement from the sink
my son brings me a bowl of soup
I do not look in his eyes when I thank him
for I cannot bring myself back
from the wasteland into which
I have squandered myself
untended raw edges fester
the muscles in my face
now do as they please and
I do not want my son to see
the wreck loss has made of me

when I go to bed my memory misfires
the sound of his voice, his lips his smile
smack me in the head my eyelids snap
open like shutters as I lie still, asleep
the dark whispers his smell
the face of my love looks down at me
the warmth of him close, fleeting
conducts the collapse
that dawns in the early light
the carefully chosen bottle of wine
not enough juice to keep me airborne
above the clouds in the quiet sunflower blue sky
not enough to land me safely
where small birds hide from a storm
that rages night and day
relentless and pounding
since he went away

Photo ©2012 Hattie Wilcox


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