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a poem by James Valvis


This is not your house.
My room is clouded with cigarettes,
a sad and stagnant smoke.
When we were dating
and I slept with you at your place,
I remembered you didn't like me
to cuddle next to you;
so instead I would lie awake
and smell your hair
that flowed on the bed sheet
like a quiet red wave;
but I never knew what to do
with my hands.
They seemed like unneeded orphans
after the lovemaking.
my thoughts drifted in and out,
but one always remained:
Remember, you don't live here.
Then my hand would instinctively
reach for your leg,
and I would let it rest for as long
as you didn't notice,
an hour, sometimes, or mere seconds,
but when you felt it lying there
you nudged it off
and I had to pack my hand again
beneath my pillow.
I thought some more things,
then turned over,
and fell into an uncomfortable sleep,
already dreaming the truth
that would move me toward tonight:
this foggy room, this late hour,
and these strange hands --
lonely, but home.

© by James Valvis
Gutter Eloquence Magazine ~ Issue #22 ~ July 2012