“I cringe in the night ”

like toenails tipping across ice.
Picturing you in bed alone, I wish to creep inside
that stale empty house—
where mirrors hang just to make you feel
in good company again.
I imagine you and I both are not sleeping, now,
beneath these lovesick crocheted blankets;
Beneath the tossing of our shadows
like cats leaping from a bookshelf perch;
Their long tails flapping like pages,
flipped cover to cover.
I cringe in the night,
longing for the she that will not be.
And I stay alert;
Haunted by the shadows you long ago burnt
into the walls behind my mind;
The minutes and hours spent talking
until I bored you away. I am so sorry;
I sit up in the night, painting pink freckles
inside every shape that you will never fill again.
After I move out, the landlord will be angry
and whitewash our hours of love,
so that another chump can move his things in;
Replace the burnt out light bulbs
and start the cycle all over again.

narrative poem written on 03-29-2011 by: on mattkane.com
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