The hotel room was safe, there were no windows -
the visitor had left my high heeled shoes at
the door and led me off to sleep, with
my chest still hitching, to dream of dreadful things.
I never understood how men could think that
sex would make me feel better when I'm
behind glass in a box, flat and depressed.
I dreamt that a man said he'd marry me and
wrapped his hands around my neck. I asked
him to kill me - he let me follow him around
the playground where I stumbled over children
that weren't mine.
I lost sight of him each time
I closed my eyes or the lights in the park flickered.
I remembered his black coat and the lack of music
each time I fell to my knees
to die in this dream - he pushed me down the stairs
and into a wedding ceremony with a white dress
and plenty of photographs with my lips upturned
to mock the generic idea of happiness.
In the reality of the secret afternoon, my lover's voice
sounded destructive, like words over the sound
of glass shattering on hardwood floor. His skin
smelled wet, not the the acid rain of the city but
clean and sweet - like a baby who's had his first bath.
Fragments of the dream fluttered above my head
like the same black and blind butterflies
in my empty stomach. I had felt love change
color from silver to the red of lust and then
diminish all at once.
Between the hatching of a moment to its obvious
death, I wanted to place my hands
on his chest like it was a trap door
and remove what had become tepid in his chest.
Instead, he put his clothes back on.
I waited until I heard the growl of his
car engine before I was brave enough
to curse his name that'd been said
so often as blood rushed anywhere
but my head. The dignity he left
scratched into my hips made me
bite my fingernails and reminded me
that I was his and yet, I was stolen.
I took my shoes from where they sat
next to the darkened the hotel room door.
It was time to leave the escape to return
home and start it all over again.