That Knowing Stare

Lotte Meijer —

Your eyes contain that stare of
knowing. A reference to a previous
conversation where we said
important things I’m not supposed
to say out loud.

I keep them in the dark. In a box
high up on the shelf; too high
for the kids to find even with
a ladder. Sometimes at night,
if I stay nearly still I can hear them
whispering, “let me out.”

Sometimes, at night, I hear
your moans coming from the
downstairs room. Some nights
I sleep in the car for fear of those
pleasure sounds. I stand outside and
read poetry and cry until my cigarette
burns out and I have to go back inside
to steal another from your pack.

When I wake you are there with a
coffee and the morning paper.
I stay silent for fear of a truth slipping
edgewise out between my lips.
I avoid that knowing stare.