Everything But – Lauren Bender

You and I were so much a part of the dark,

we needed a substitute for sight, and we found

 

one. We crept like spiders through the shadow

of something else, our own shadows missing.

 

Your hands lumped onto my shoulders, but I thought

they must be my hands, only they’ve gone numb,

 

my own hands, touching my shoulders somehow.

Your face was far above me near the moon.

 

Echolocate, I thought. You had been with her,

and I knew how hard it was navigating the cave

 

of infidelity, every step a stumble. In the car,

we pulled into that gray gas station

 

for snacks, and I sucked the sugar off your fingers.

You said you were hoping I would, and they

 

became my only sin, tasted more of cologne

than doughnuts, or wild adult transgression.

 

Had we been adult, it may not have stopped there.

After you’d have gone home to stroke her skin

 

with your sticky fingers while I hung back in the hotel,

sorting different shades of stain in the sunlight.

 

Lauren Bender

Lauren Bender lives in Burlington, VT. Her work has appeared in IDK MagazineThe CollapsarGyroscope ReviewPittsburgh Poetry ReviewYes Poetry, and others. You can find her on twitter @benderpoet.

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