J V Birch
That in-between, when I wake while I’m sleeping
in the room I know—the neat blinds belittling morning,
the distressed drawers we bought, the ceiling ghosting
with sheets, the tight blue of our carpet—with a presence
in the room that’s not you. I hear you in the kitchen
making espresso as something slides into bed with me.
I can’t move, feel a thunder inside, a fear I’ve known
but have never seen. There’s a breathing that isn’t mine,
a thing reaching that isn’t human, I remember something
and then don’t. I try to scream and the moment presses
in, believe I’m scrabbling but I’m not, snap awake to my whine
like a broken toy bear, pinned in the position I left, the bed
empty and you, in the doorway, asking what’s wrong.
J V Birch J V Birch lives in Adelaide. Her poems have been published in Australia, the UK, Canada and the US. She has three chapbooks with Ginninderra Press and a full-length collection, more than here. She blogs at www.jvbirch.com.