Here in the half-light the covers are ruffled
but my skin is smooth to the touch.
My voice is soft in an ornate room.
_ _All last night you called—
_ _“se coucher, se coucher,”
_ _But I did not listen,
_ _I wanted another absinthe.
This morning I heard you leave
though my eyes were lost in my hair.
I know you stand somewhere
waiting for me to move,
but I will stay until late afternoon.
My body is mine this morning,
though when touching myself I know
I am holding it only for you.
Stuart Dischell is the author of Children with Enemies (University of Chicago Press, 2017), as well as Good Hope Road, a 1991 National Poetry Series Selection (Viking, 1993); Evenings & Avenues (Penguin, 1996); Dig Safe (Penguin, 2003); and Backwards Days (Penguin, 2007). Dischell’s poems have been published in journals such as The Atlantic, The New Republic, AGNI, Slate, The Kenyon Review, and in anthologies including Essential Pleasures, Hammer and Blaze, The Pushcart Prize, and Good Poems. A recipient of awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the North Carolina Arts Council, and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, he teaches in the MFA program in creative writing at University of North Carolina Greensboro. He is a contributing editor of AGNI. (updated 4/2019)