Hannah Louise Poston

The Husband


She watches him undress
against the backdrop of the bedroom wall.
It's windowless—

the television's all
they witness of the human race,
besides each other. Tragically flawed,

the men in hour-long dramas fall from grace,
or else they power through—
they fly spaceships,

they sacrifice themselves for their crews,
and, once in a while,
for love. On her back in the blue

dark she feels his smile
creep and peak—
she knows that mouth: a mile

long and light years deep,
a crescent moon over the body of water
on the planet where they sleep.

Biographies of great men litter
the desk. She thinks they must
be making him reconsider

his sex, but they scatter and gather dust—
his body is still wires and smoke,
a magician's trick, his lust

is still the tent stake
a gale tugs free,
moved by its rope to flagellate

the air, too unwieldy
to be grabbed and re-inserted in the ground,
too smooth to be a key,

too late to keep the tent from coming down.
Still she makes a grasp,
still she's not alone,

but the sheets shapeshift, her twists back
and forth locking and unlocking the room
so many times it seems they have lost track,

left the house, and returned home
to find it robbed but unchanged, safe but disturbed,
before either of them has even come.