kevin mcwha steele

 

MAIDENHEAD

 

 

It was early morning just after sunrise.

Delphinium growing out of your mouth pushing up the loose plaster in the ceiling.

I took a pair of large scissors from my belly button and clipped the stems close to the root.

Was careful not to cut your lips or tongue.

The flower bled like a milkweed and stained the sheets a darker blue. 

White rats climbed up out of the stain and rushed at my stomach.

They got at my hands before I could defend myself. 

You glanced off into the distance beyond the feather pillow to the window. 

The snow falling seemed familiar as you ignored the burrowing through my body. 

When you looked at the hole in my torso it became spherical and matched the shape of your eyes. 

Your reflection shone against the shadows of the room as a bright backdrop.

But the snow appeared like ash and it eventually dissolved your image, too.

We stayed in the dark for a moment until your brother lit a candle.

The lesions from his death still looked new. 

When he asked at what time you stopped loving me, your eyes turned to coal. 

Too heavy in their sockets, they fell to the bed and rolled toward me. 

I’d say you were crying if it weren’t for the flames that took the place of your tears. 

Without sight you were denied the habitual buffer. 

The fire eventually morphed to stone and soon after you were filling the room with pebbles. 

We were lodged, each entirely surrounded. 

Each stone, in braille, a rebuttal.