He awoke as shadows gnawed his chest
like they hadn’t eaten in weeks. His eyes opened wide
upon the black. He heard his wife breathing deeply,
clutched where the pain clutched, found something in the dark
to appease his need for focus. The ceiling fan spun steadily
above the lovemaking that had preceded him into sleep.
He watched it spin as each rotation came with a memory
and a self-diagnosis. Did it burn? Yes. It burned in his center
like the time he leaned into the furnace when he was eight
and let it be his excuse for crying over missing his father.
Was it radiating? Yes. It spread like the warmth of the first time
he saw her. Was his left arm tingling? Yes. It tingled like a fairy tale,
like a helpless maiden’s rescue from a black-hatted witch.
He could not wake her for this. He felt tears now, sliding
into his ears as he lay prone to emotion. He tried to turn for a kiss.
Strong Verse - January 8, 2013