his laugh punctuates his campfire tales
infecting you with warmth –
your limbs relax into a hot water bath
of the safe place of his heart.
he spins a truthfulness into your head,
revolves your name around his tongue,
you tend to believe whatever he’s said
when he’s tangled up in damp sheets on the bed.
he rubs his eyes like an exhausted child
intent on staying awake to prove a point.
sometimes his expression is astonishingly mild,
other times it’s like he’s burning up inside.
there’s a languor to his
early morning limbs.
he could wring his hair out,
its black tendrils drip over
the honey toned sweetness of his face.
he’s slick with sweat and accident
in a sticky Louisiana summertime
where the air feels like long ago
and the road in the distance shimmers
like you once saw in a movie.
the nicotine kisses you used to find
so intoxicating you shy away from now,
his mouth like an ashtray on yours,
his face lit and unlit by the lights of cars
pulling in and out of the motel lot.
there’s times his turning and setting
his watch down on the night stand
by the budget room queensize bed
has a finality as definite as
the metallic slide and click
of someone behind you loading a gun.
Photo by Belinda