Songs of Fictive Moments: As you left

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)