There is an urgency around her neck
his finger’s watermark
left indelible from now on
changing color, solidifying
and taunting memories
from left hooks to my jaw
from tire marks on my mother’s bones
from babysitter’s unrecognizable face.
I want to shake her but he has
done a fair job of that
not enough to make her leave
even though I tell her love doesn’t look like this,
doesn’t raise hands, doesn’t steal your breath by force,
doesn’t threaten icy river graves out of jealousy.
She can’t look at me
when she tells me she feels sorry
for people who have no one,
who beg her to come back
no matter what the cost.
Aleathia Drehmer 2010
Published by Poet Plant Press, "The Love Book", 2010