The Peppermint Baths
In your new house I concentrate on the quiet things.
The oleander in the glass, the soft cotton of your pants against your skin,
the dishes soaking in water.
I watch the baby graze her lips against your breast
and I want to believe you are happy.
But still I have nightmares:
A man casts a shadow over your porch,
You stand alone on the orange edge of a boiling sea,
The baby commits suicide.
Do you remember the quiet spots:
the long gray hotel room, the peppermint baths,
the arcane city churches where we waited out storms,
the laundromats where we went to pray?
I watch you like a miner
watches a candle
flickering in the deep core of the earth
with the air closing in on his chest
and the moon slipping away from his mind.