Even After Summer

 

when you have closed your windows
against the cold and all your winter terror
you can hear them in the street 

his voice thin and so close to breaking
reminds you of mornings back home
don’t touch me. don’t fucking touch me. 

he cannot be any clearer and still
you can only just catch the woman pleading. 
she must not be as desperate 

as he is hurt or else you’d recognize
that too. you have so much practice with this waking
to bear witness. earlier in the night 

when you had wanted to drift into peace
it was the neighbor’s toddler
and the crisp slap of a grown palm against his pudgy thigh

as if that would quiet him. sometimes
it’s the animal sounds from below or the crash
of pots or the dull thud of flesh against a wall 

that makes you think of daddy a boy in that house
of all the things he learned to forget
and what a necessary skill, revision.