Terese Pierre - Poems (2)
Three in the morning, I am
awake under cloth and commitment,
paltry comforters, I discover
beside me, your form
for years some shelter, some skin
against mine, and outsiders.
But in this dark stopping,
sediment rises and separates:
I do not know what we are
I do not know if touch is still soft, if
softness is still a shield,
an assurance, if the road
we are on will remain paved with
Is balance lost, my body asks
the place to hold yourself on the mountain
I cannot breathe.
Four in the morning, your foot
reaches out, icy toe on my shin
You ask me for the third time
what care is
as I lay, struck prone in the arms
of a family of machines,
handcuffed to life
You ask our provider
if I am still here, but do not
ask yourself if I should be
in you instead, if there are more
worthy places for my presence to fill
You can’t see me swimming
over your head, hear me push you
through the stages
I am a child, and you are a child.
My sickness makes us both childlike
makes you apologize like
you know I can sense truth
even in this state.
Over and over you try
to be grown, you grab at power
lament at papers I have and have
not signed, on occasion
to be barred by men in white coats,
with no faces
Tell them I see you, patient.
Tell them we walk together in the warmth
of your fingers, ridges mountains
where the last realities isolate themselves in mist
hoping to be traversed
and yanked into illumination
I am concerned that you cannot say goodbye,
the way you hold me and darken my veins
the resolve in your voice that counts
my false breaths.
We near an end
neither abrupt nor planned.
We near a freeing
(Text © Terese Pierre - Publication: Summer 2018)