I did not listen to your leaving
as you left. I did not hear
the floorboards creaking, the scrape
of your fingernails on the wall
down the hall, the click-click
of them on the doorknob, the
catch-cracking of the latch opening
or the scream of the hinge of the door.
No, I did not hear them at all.
I stayed where I was in my chair
with my thoughts and my drink
and my stare but I did hear you stop.
I heard your breath catch in your throat.
I heard the hesitation in your step,
your two desires pulling you apart,
pulling you to pieces right there
on the threshold, right there in the hall.
I heard the split in you. All these things
I heard as you stood there, the house
ticking around you, the floor
stretching away down the hall.
I heard your cheek almost touch
your shoulder, your chin almost
touch your collar bone and then
I heard your head whip back to
front, the snap of the earth back
into place. The slam of the door
I did not hear, and again
the silence as I sat. I
was firm in the fabric
of the seat of the chair.
I was sewn there.
My skin tore
as I tried to rise.
So I didn’t.
So I let you.
(The third piece in a series of unrelated pieces that are somehow, in my mind, related)