I wake mid sleep from the soft slap of your hand.
Draped beads clack against the closet door as the waves
from the sound machine crash against
the water and I wonder about
that day I cut opened my chest
and placed my heart in your hands.
Can I trust you to cradle
it in your fingers,
mindful of not letting it fall?
And, if it did accidently
slip through the empty spaces
would you dive to catch it before
it splatters onto the ground?
I fall back asleep and dream we are blankets swimming
towards our rowboat. Paddles meet, a spark like your touch,
and we shoot from the root of spring and green shines
through the water.
But, what am I to do at night when the glisten in your eyes
turn beige, and the blush stroke of your hand hangs dry,
and we, still, flash noise into confetti, and like my heart
it splashes into pieces on top of the green water.
We lay still in the dark sky, blanket and sand
beneath us where smoke forms a cloud of uneven
sheets, towering, thickening in a whirlwind,
shaping a screen, a mirror,
as clear as a jasperjewel.
Among the stars there is no flutter or chatter
of birds this hour, just hills swelling with fog,
and in them the shadow of a man,
full of eyes that growl,
bearing thorns for teeth
and claws like icicles,
dripping wisps of venom.
You push me and I fall
into the water that flows
between the shallow paths.
Only it’s not water
it’s mud and you scrape me
off the bottom of your shoe.
Only it’s not mud
it’s leaves and like them
I crumble with your step.
Only it’s not leaves
it’s wind and it punches me
up from the ground
my eyes to meet yours
and I see you have let
each lash fill with dust
and who will wipe them clean
for you to see who
it is you are swatting away.
Brittany DiGiacomo holds a BS in English Literature from Mercy College, and an MFA in Creative Writing from Manhattanville College, where she served as production editor at The Manhattanville Review while earning her MFA.