Somewhere There is a Reststop and She Might Choose It
She is lying on top of me, head sunken
into the unshaven opening of my neck,
hand pillowed where my ribcage
would shape through if I hadn’t been gaining
weight since turning thirty.
One of the thumbtacks holding
the bedsheet to the window as a curtain
so that the light sways, patches, rubs
the white wall where we have hung no pictures.
She smells how a southern woman smells—
Dove deodorant, sweat, morning breath.
Her socked-foot rubs and tugs at my ankle,
her breasts are flattened against the white shirt
she bought me for my birthday.
As I breathe, deeply, conscious of my breath,
her shoulders rise with my chest’s rising,
her body’s movement a passenger
to my movement, and I am aware
of the direction I am taking her
in this poor little life,
I mean light,
of the new day.
Jesse DeLong debut poetry book, The Amateur Scientist's Notebook, was published by Baobab Press. Other work has appeared in Colorado Review, Mid-American Review, American Letters and Commentary, Indiana Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, and Typo, as well as the anthologies Best New Poets 2011 and Feast: Poetry and Recipes for a Full Seating at Dinner. His chapbooks, Tearings, and Other Poems and Earthwards, were released by Curly Head Press. Other than writing, he teaches composition and literature at Louisiana State University.