Wrapped in Nothing
by Tobi Cogswell

She stayed in bed on Wednesday,
listened to the blades of a red
Coast Guard helicopter beat
the wind, the air billowing from
around it like when you skipped
stones on the lake, after you both
climbed down and down, holding
the gritty canyon walls for balance,
wondering just what was going
to await two cowardly travelers
on their quest for sun-stoked vistas
rather than face each other, eye
to eye, to find out what was wrong,
if troubled sleep could be made right.

Tired sheets a country-western song
of lonely. They do not take the place
of the sweetest times, you holding
her so close she could bend back
against your arms in a “U” of grace.
Nor do they do not take the place of the
sizzling times, ice cold beer on sweat-fired
skin, drinking dazzling helicopter red
out of her mouth, the air around you
whirring to make room for lush
sublime. She used to kiss the back
of your neck while you slept. You always
wore a shirt. Because even from the beginning
you were ready to run. And run you did.

And now she is alone. It is a workday.
Her lifeline and love line are both long,
while yours appear lonely and shamed.
Nothing is more important than
reconciliation of heart and head, and Thursday
will not provide this. She turns away
from where your kisses used to greet her
at all hours of the night and morning.
She thinks she will become like the houses
she sees in gorgeous picture books,
stunning red doors and lace curtains,
with nothing inside.

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