Before the Deployment
He kisses me before he goes. While I, still dozing, half-asleep, laugh and rub my face against the sueded surface of the sheets, thinking it’s him I touch, his skin beneath my hands, my body curving in to meet his body there. I never hear him leave. But I believe he shuts the bedroom door, as though unsure if he should change his mind, pull off his boots, crawl beneath the blankets left behind, his hand a heat against my breast, our heart rates slowing into rest. Perhaps all good-byes should whisper like a piece of silk— and then the quick surprise of waking, alone except for the citrus ghost of his cologne.
From Stateside. Copyright © 2010 by Jehanne Dubrow. Used by permission of Northwestern University Press. All rights reserved.