To be astringent

I can’t sleep,
Your arm is suffocating me,
As it drapes across my chest,
But I can’t ask you to move it,
Because that would,
Draw attention,
To the fact that,
I don’t want you,
To wrap your arm around me,
All the time.

I close my eyes,
But I can’t sleep.
The scratchy hairs on your legs,
Are grating the skin from mine,
In a gradual and unrelenting way.
Reminding of sand rashes,
And my need to use a pumice stone on my feet.
But I can’t move your legs,
Because you will feel that I am assuming a right,
To decide where you put your legs.
And to limit the way you touch me.

I count the number of times,
I drag air to and from my lungs.
But I can’t sleep.
Your clouded breath feels astringent
Against my face.
And yet I can’t turn,
Or move away from you.
Because that will leave a dark,
Hollow space,
To grow cold between us.
And I think, what would happen,
If you woke in the morning,
And feel that empty space,
That lies,
Somewhere other than in our bed,
And couldn’t explain,
How my expression is now astringent,
To you.

So I just lie in the dark,
Letting you clutch to me,
And barely feel something important,
Slipping away,
From me.

Tess

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