Mary Mackey





Withdrawal

When we make love
you touch me gently
afterwards you’re so hard
I wonder where he lives
that man who comes in me
then leaves so suddenly

Inside
it is the dark of the moon
my belly rises full
from you
polished, waxed like an apple
you fill me with dreams
and visions
and tenderness fragile as breath
I feel you mortal
inside me
and know people
should cling together
precious in their loving
on the long road to death

how fragile you seem then
as if you might snap
against my body like a stick
I put up my arms to
protect you
nourishing, blowing on you
like an ember

and then
suddenly
you turn inside out
and become
well-welded
armor-plated
invulnerable
again
and I break my nails
against your skin
and my heart
against your logic

do you know
why I lie with you?

I lie
only hoping
to meet you
once again
along the road
only hoping 
to meet once again
that tender
stranger