Five A.M. Still by Bobbi Lurie

September 17, 2012 Comments Off on Five A.M. Still by Bobbi Lurie

5 a.m. Still

Don’t forget this, this shit, all this shit. And the shoes you do without, while stepping in it, creeping around, trying not to wake your caretaker, someone you know to be insane, someone with the power to lock you back up in the looney bin.

You might climb over the gate, careful not to fall.

He might be there, waiting, anticipating your escape, your run into the wet grass, next to the roadrunners’ mouths, filled with prey: mice, lizards, whatever the forest offers that day.

Animals stand next to you most days while you’re  standing over the river, thinking of drowning, your hand over your mouth, wondering what it is like not to breathe.

11:30 p.m.

Finally in bed, he’s sleeping. The house feels softer in the dark. You listen to his jagged breath, pushing and pulling; you think of extinguishing it, with your bare hands, your voice crying out, for joy and release, involuntarily.

You met him in a gap in your life. You were spreading your wings. There was silver lining in every cloud.

Ugly word: “cunt.” But he used it. He used it on you. Lewd, ugly, old man: bow-legged, hairy legs like a roach, or a rodent. Something scampering for cheese; the smell of rot; wanting all the things that you are not.

Yes. At first, it was nice.


Everyone said “always” about your behavior. Their cruelty lilted at the end of each sentence.

Tender moments followed, sometimes looking at the sky;  short moments, forgetting your life, your self. Trees making sounds, so much like his breathing; trees, heavy with fruit, and you fearing another pregnancy, another child of his.

Your anger is everywhere. It spills into all your distinctions; the trinkets you wear cannot hide the noose around your neck.

Nice the way the world turns.

© Bobbi Lurie

Bobbi Lurie is the author of three poetry collections: Grief Suite, The Book I Never Read, and Letter from the Lawn. Her work has appeared in numerous print and on-line journals, including New American Writing, E-Ratio, Counterexample, Otoliths, The American Poetry Review and Big Bridge. Dancing Girl Press will be publishing her chapbook, “to be let in the back porch,” in 2012. Her fiction can be found, or is forthcoming, in Noir, Dogzplot, Pure Slush, Wilderness House Literary Review, Marco Polo, Melusine, Camroc Press Review and others. You can find her here:!/bobbilurie   and 

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