In the Careful Hour

When all has been pushed open,
taken. When the pillow is removed
to expose the clown smear of what I
thought I wanted; you remain dead
weight. Naked. Unashamed. Your
cooling is gradual, sticky, a fleshy
sheet stitched from roped veins,
frothy spit in the corners of your mouth.

Me on fire, lit from inside. Fuck you.
Fuck your round belly and the angle
of light that cuts your body in two –
a magician’s trick, snake oil, lies.

You are a fist in my stomach,
an orbital fracture to an otherwise
lovely eye. But in this quiet moment,
this careful hour, you are my love,
uniquely hogtied to this moment.


Gina Stratos is a writer living in northern Nevada. She enjoys collecting words, sipping buttery Chardonnay, and canceling plans with friends. Her work can be read in Dark River Review, Door Is a Jar, Rabid Oak, The Meadow, and Words & Whispers.