PREDAWN AUBADE


There was no sex involved.  I went
barefoot
down to the kitchen.  And there,
the reflection faced me, gaunt
in the light of the sliding, glass door.
Perched
in the plastic, covered white chair,
whittling dawn
the way one would
the tart
pit of a nectarine.  Her
gown fell open.
Her brow
slatted like a crate
—low, short, square.
Her sagging breasts were still.
I could see
she was beating back
a need to flee, sitting there
poised.
Coiled like a sprinter’s
inner watch, wound tighter than tight,
anticipating the gun.  And what she say, but…
“This isn’t what I signed on for.
This ain’t what you promised.”
I could’ve lie to her
told that comely woman
that I was the same person
I used to be, that just
around the corner
was going to be some
blue lights and scandal.  No,
no need to 
pretend for this other version
of who I used to be.
I ‘fessed up, “This it…
Two babies, a man, a mortgage,
and a grocery list.
Now
do what you gotta.
Go,
if you must.”