You know everything about me
—my extraterrestrial life.
Slipping through windows,
curtains couldn’t keep you away—
your wandering eye, your brilliant
light rippling the linoleum, your
backlit bones racked on hangers.
Even the air bent to your dark gravity.
Owls and hounds, monsters that wailed
from every sticky drawer. What darkness
escapes you lingers in pockets, lost
soldiers, dinosaurs forgotten. The lunch money
mom gave me spent on “Jujubes.” Sentenced
to idle hours, in my room, like you, to a night
without supper. I’ve watched your white lip burn
at the edge of endless space—thin jaw open, waiting
for stars to fall. I slept light on a wave of guilt,
arose each night to join you. Together we tagged
shadows through alleys and empty lots.
A pearlescent tide over the sleeping lawns,
we jumped fences, passed through windows,
rolled over the neighbor’s floor, lounged, tasted
the leftovers, and allowed our hungry tongues
to feel how it felt to be home.
Bob Putnam is a writer and carpenter living near Charlottesville, Va. where he is a member of theWriterHousewriting community. His recent work has appeared inBare Hands, Emerge, SALT, andEpiphany Magazine.