The air is crisp with the promise of new snow,
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my bedroom, whitewashed with morning sun.
In my sleepy confusion, I reach for your pillow
to stroke your face with my finger, and kiss you below the ear.
I twist my hips toward yours
to drape my knee across your waist
and nestle my breasts against your ribs,
basking in the simple joy of our union.
But my involuntary smile fades as my heavy lids part
and the room that I find myself in is not ours.
Trappings, exclusively feminine, surrounded me.
I ache for the sense of belonging that I once felt with you.
For a moment, I try to chase the memories away,
then reach for the robe you bought me last Christmas,
clutching it against my neck with an empty embrace;
pressing my lashes together, to taste for a moment, yesterdayís honey.
Like a faded home movie, images soothe and haunt me;
of Vintner's Reserve and cotton napkins, dripping wax, bed sheets in disarray,
of sneaking love notes into your pocket and waving you off to work
with wisps of winter dancing across my toes at dawn.
Burrowing my face into the terrycloth collar
I seek a hint of your scent,
knowing, too well, that seasons have left and returned
since your sweet cologne has hung about my neck.
Then, like a sudden storm that catches me unaware,
my heart is darkened with a heaviness I canít escape
as I think of you with her,
suspecting your secretive heart had been with her all the while.
Your confirming words mock and echo;
I am the desire of your heart,
a treasure beyond your most hopeful dreams...
How easily I had trusted.
During those early months together,
I floated on the hope and promises
that you generously poured out
when you replaced heart-piercing despair with security,
in a cocoon of infinite love you called unconditional.
Shaking the picture from my head of us at the airport - crazy in love,
I desperately pry off the intensity of a moment now expired
trying to accept that it couldnít have been real --
embarrassed by how completely convinced I had been.
Your eyes still burn to my core, like the day of your return
as you clenched my hands in yours after speeding home to my embrace, saying, "I love you and must have you always,"
and that you'd never again bear a tortured trip without me.
Now, my "lovers sanity" hinges on believing
that it was true for you then, too;
yet you'd oft still wrestled with her fleshly ghost
though you had denied her openly, fearing the whispers of men.
Her angry finger, her open hand about to strike your face,
broke my heart that wretched night
as she attacked you with venomous tongue.
I withstood her accusations with quiet, graceful support.
Halt, you restless tangled thoughts!
Think, rather, on the undone lists beneath my pen,
and the busy, happy hum of my children filling my rooms -- so I can forget what I donít understand.
Yes, shun too, the attentions of well-meaning suitors;
and fortify my heart from the deceits of men,
while I watch inlovedness safely from the sidelines
of a game Iím not qualified to play.
Here, I share, with stark honesty, my life.