Patti Masterman (US)
Such An Angelic Smile
When you marry someone, you are getting more than just a husband or wife-
There are unknown entities, being taken in to your bosom, your bed;
Undeclared desires, misdirected motives- past lovers
The heart can't let go, and never-buried corpses
From other yesterdays that you can't even see.
Try to visualize coming back to your bed in the early morning hours,
Finding your pillow wet with tears, or an undue warmth lingering there.
Yet your significant other seemingly snores softly without a care, never stirring;
The apparition of a perfect rose beside her on the pillow,
Though your house has not a single rose bush.
Perhaps it's the faint smell, as of lovers who just co-mingled their body fluids-
More than one person has gone mad with such imaginings,
With things that were more absent than present. How many molecules does it take
To declare a thing has actuality, to prove it's more than hallucination?
A ghost in stocking-feet sits smoking nightly before the mirror, in the darkness,
The glint of eyes never leaving your face; is he jealous you have something he never did,
Or are the eyes full of pity and relief, that now you take his place in her life?
The long draws on the tobacco reveal nothing.
In your dreams phones are always ringing, and numerous male voices ask for different names-
Is her personna only another mask, that you can never see back of?
Then there are the faint whiffs of some masculine cologne, an aroma you don't use yourself.
Oh but then the sun always comes up, and a new benediction's arriving;
Shining through the curtains, lighting bejeweled crowns around her static halo of hair;
Points of light, prisms (or is it daggers?) coming toward you from her eyes,
Full of smiles just for you- surely all is well, and the night terrors will subside,
Lose their effect, given enough time. To all her inquiries, you give only half-truths:
Yes you slept well, you recall no particular restlessness on your side of the bed.
And so for one more day, you decide to just leave it be. Indistinguishable from one another,
The days continue to pass by, while something almost underneath conscious recognition
Feels unsettled, senses the peculiar weight of a wrongness that defies categorization.
The simple truth is you feel so lucky these days, it hardly seems worth the risk of losing it,
On the strength of a few intuitions, during the hours reason is only half awake.
But you know night is always coming again, and there's that stale smell of cigarettes...
Perhaps a few air fresheners placed strategically..?
She has such an angelic smile, you know.
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