INTAKE OF BREATH 1997.

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: February 01, 2016

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Submitted: February 01, 2016

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You called my name
in your sleep?
Una says,
what did Brian say?

Nuala lies beside Una
in her bed in Una's place,
he just thought
you'd upset me
or that I was worried
about something you'd said,
Nuala replies.

Una looks worried,
turns to face Nuala,
and what did you say?
Una asks.

Just said it was a dream
nothing more,
Nuala says,
gazing at her,
at her eyes staring.

He bought that?

Nuala nods.

Una sighs and touches
Nuala's cheek.

Have to be careful;
he may not always
be so gullible,
Una says.

I can't help what I say
in my dreams,
Nuala says,
If you're on my mind
then it comes out.

What would he do
if he found out?
Una says,
running a finger
under Nuala's chin.

Break his heart,
that would,
Nuala says,
don't know what he'd do
other than that.

She sighs and looks
at Una's eyes and lips.

Would he harm you?
Una says.

Who knows what people
will do once they're
on different territory;
he might even kill me
and you or both of us
or none, I don't know,
Nuala says.

There is silence
as they lay there
touching and looking.

Una senses danger,
thinks of Nuala murdered
and Brian coming after her
with a gun or knife
for sleeping with his wife.

Nuala imagines Brian saying:
are you sleeping with her?
doing things with her?
his eyes large and childlike
and hurt and teary
and then angry
and cold words come
and bitterness.

They had just made love
for the second time
and Nuala says:
best go or he'll want
to know why I'm late
home from the office.

Una nods,
turns onto her back,
stares at the ceiling,
senses Nuala's wet kisses
on her skin,
her words nibbling
at her ears.

You'll come again?
she asks
childlike and unsure.

Nuala dresses slowly;
first underwear and bra,
then tights and blouse,
of course I will,
she says,
eyeing Una lying there
like a spanked child,
no doubt I'll be back,
and finishing dressing,
she kisses and waves
and goes and a door
clicks shut then silence
settles like dust.

Una sighs,
take an intake of breath,
then cries.


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