Jennifer Whitaker

The Look of It

Make it December. Leave her speechless
on the bed in the linen-colored morning light.
Supply the details: air cool as a lizard’s back,
blankets thrown to the floor, door swinging wildly
on its hinges from the man’s leaving.
Fill the empty spaces with the slap of bedcovers
thrown back, the smell of lime soap,
click-open of a folding knife, bruises mapped
purple-black across her legs.

Take from her the whirring hush of sleep,
the sweet smell of gas heat in winter,
the clean water rush from the faucet.
Now let her ease out of bed,
soak her gown in the sink. Watch the shadows
of pear trees shake at the window like bodies.