He Tells His Side
When we sat on the stoop—thick, warm
slab of stone outside her little house—
the summer after she took me back, I gave her
every chance to tell the truth, begged her to tell me
should I go ahead and tear down the rotting
trees from that hill we’d seen, tumble the great
boulders into the lake, thicken the earth
with concrete, and throw up glass walls to let
the light soothe her frozen heart?
She sat still, the way she would, as if
no-one was there, then reached to lace
her fingers through mine, leaned to let the dark
spill of her hair hide her eyes, stretched
her bare legs in the sun, and lied.
Yes, the house of light fell through, yes,
the mansion I bought for her instead
honed her to angles, carved her to hollows,
yes, I hated to see her hunched beside the open
oven door for warmth, huddled in the center
of our bed, drowning in quilts, and once
I caught her spreading her hand against
the window pane, catching the thin winter
sun, so she could count the bones, she said.
And yes, I found her notebooks, took a red
pen to her spider scrawls to let
my broken heart bleed on her lies. How else
could I show her I was the only one
who truly understood her suffering?