Strange(r) Awakenings)

Theme: Lovers Unacquainted-For

 Note:  the italicized section in the 7th frame is taken from Stanley Burnshaw's The Seamless Web.


In fetal-curl their bodies alight
    his left arm about her
torso, hers down the side of the twin
mattress welling in — still
    the sense of, Which arm is holding
in place the first
    who’ll fall from sleep?

Held/beheld asleep with a raw
    leer not her own, narcissistic —
awe-ironic to an addled       awakening
    -then-finding a stranger
lies behind her
    astraddle, as though left there
by a woman-not-herself.

Presuming all, he is
    without covers, without memory
at the dark mercy of a pale and face
    -less woman lowering against him,
    to/from       which/whom
his eyelids, moist as lips, lose
this dream as well?


Footsteps and voices out
    -side the door       allure them
from the other side of sleep to the
    picturesque bedscape with
    -in an unfamiliar room, each to
awaken with a stranger memory
    left in place of itself.


5 waking senses surface rampant to the
    invasive       tarriance
of a stranger’s penis still in
    -side her — as a lucider
light unveils a spread of fingers
    lukewarm, clamped crab-like/grass root
-ing beyond the smooth of her stomach.


Hungover a backside bent double and red
    hair splattered over both pillows;
awaken/taken aback, relieved
    and repelled that some       one’s breath
-ing backs into his chest: a knotted spine
    pulsing down-on-him like an artery
while the arm off the side looks missing.


Basic and electric rhythms of the brain
to which one’s entire organism desires
its return when disturbed by crisis

1st-move lovers       lean off bed’s waysides
    to abandon dawn/ing bodies’
    harmony, for private music/’s
    primordial safety.