Two years, nine months, 9 days
since they sent your trial clothes home in a box.
I didn’t know what it was, taped up and from Central Prison,
the worst hellhole in North Carolina.
I was by myself, thank God, for when I tore through the tape, and saw;
remembered what these were, I howled like a wolf
that has just seen its mate torn limb from limb by hunters who only killed for the pelt.
I smelled the fear in your dress shirt, stained with sweat from the trial.
How we waited for hours, the third day in, and the judge brought them all in
and screamed at those old people like they were bad children.
Tonight I sigh deeply, two years and nine months later, for I can’t remember the last time we made love.
I am ashamed by this, because I used to love it so, waiting all hours for you to come home so I could undress you,
rub your head, shoulders, back and arms with almond oil, tell you about all the things the kids tore up or
who beat up who, while your plate was heating in the microwave.
You say you are even stronger now, and I can feel it when you squeeze me tight in visits.
A man who could lift a two hundred pound auger, or a sheet of steel, climb a five story silo, running up the steps all the way, and smoked a pack a day.
How many men could do this?
I don’t know how you never hurt me, but you never really did.
You could make me want to black out, see stars, it was so intense, our connection, man and wife.