Ballad of me and Rachel

 




She held the handle of the hairbrush
provocatively, and
I wondered what was about to happen
what was going to happen
when she took the steps across the room
to reach me
or my feet, frozen to the floor
would make their way to her–

I didn’t know her very well
but she knew me
She knew every spot on my body
that made me stay
every spot on my body
she knew where to touch
to get her way, every time

She said, ‘I like this neighborhood
I want to stay
to find a little place where I can paint
a little place to paint and say
I’ve been somewhere
and I belong somewhere
where someone loves me.’

Love, did she say love?
my mind and body confused
she wanted to stay and I wanted that too
but the word got in the way
four letters got in the way
but not that day, that day
we went everywhere she wished
without leaving my place

Years later I think of her fondly
I remember her soft hair
I remember how her hair lay over my chest
but I couldn’t say
we went every where she wished,that day
but four letters got in the way
and I couldn’t say why
but I wasn’t ready to say, ‘stay’.

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