I stare at your back, as if a portrait
hung to study.
Bare, I stroke it where it is open as
Touch freckles and moles with stealth. There,
I shut my eyes when you wake and sneeze,
I open them again when you fall back to sleep,
Watch as your lips gather the white
sticky dregs of the night,
I wish I could taste it.
And if I had scissors now, I would snip
lockets of your hair.
The hair I have become obsessed with,
The hair that gets into my eyes and stings
when I’m trying to work,
The hair that tightens knuckles
for tugs that hurt.
Maybe I’ll display it in a box,
Maybe I’ll place it into my purse,
Maybe I’ll let it lay happy in my pocket,
Or sew strands into cloth and wear the veins
of your scalp like a cloak.
This is the beauty of sleep-
It is calm and you are unaware,
as I twirl in my cape under the paling moon,
Stealing parts of you I love to keep.
When you wake, I’ll say I slept well,
and run onto the streets, telling stories
of the moment you forced a locket of your hair
into my hands.