A Wetting

we are hid­den in­side 
while it thun­ders
when you call for me, in the three o’clock 
dark of my room, I roll off 
and curl fe­tal on the far side of the bed 
to test
your tem­per.

You come in, 
the dog’s eyes are sharper 
but the sound of your voice
fills the room.

You run along my ag­gra­vate si­lence,
horse feet search­ing the house, the creak of
the fam­ily room floor­board, the bare 
slap on kitchen tile, the rat­tled shower 
cur­tain, a burst into the closet — 
your tim­bre gains an edge of ques­tion.

The screen door crash as you check the porch,
that last spot,
just shel­tered, where
af­ter dark, we some­times dull the day.

Now, I am a cruel 
hone even to your si­lence. From the rack you 
gather your jacket, sheath­ing thin 
bones, turn back out­side.

I count your steps
watch your back
rise and re­claim you.

     Where were you go­ing?
     To look for you.
     Were you wor­ried?

          I tell him I will never leave him 
          a large lie to tell a small boy,
          who stood 
          look­ing for me, 
          foot-soaked in the down­pour, 
          his hand upon the gate. 

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