I sit in the dark of morning, inhale
the sacred silence that comes between
his breaths like a tiptoe. My body balances
on the edge of the bed as if it was to decide
which day to climb out of. His breath, even
and pacing, as if it were the day moving
through itself and an occasional animal sound,
a raccoon perhaps, a squirrel, a dog, a bear.
My bear behind me, vulnerable like all
that would kill us is far from here, far from us.
My prayers that it will stay that way hover
at the floorboard cracks, like a spell of salt
and peppermint oil to keep away dark shadows,
politicians in their masks, the America
I criticize and want to be different. Only all that I love
here in the dark right at my fingertips, holding up
the droop of my breasts, the bend of my toes,
the wild of my hair. While you sleep, the air
holds me in its dying night and I wait to remember
myself, all skin and bone, in the coming light.
Liza Wolff-Francis is a poet and writer with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Goddard College who is proud to have served two terms as a member of the Albuquerque Poet Laureate Program’s Selection Committee. She was co-director for the 2014 Austin International Poetry Festival and a member of the 2008 Albuquerque Poetry Slam Team. She has an ekphrastic poem posted in Austin’s Blanton Art Museum by El Anatsui’s sculpture “Seepage” and her work has most recently appeared in Steam Ticket, eMerge, Minute Magazine, Weaving the Terrain: 100 Word Southwestern Poems, Bearing the Mask: Southwestern Persona Poems, Poetic Routes, Poetry Pacific, Edge, and on various blogs. She has a chapbook out called Language of Crossing (2015, Swimming with Elephant Publications), which is a collection of poems about the Mexico- U.S. border. She loves breakfast food, popcorn and dark chocolate.
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