The Winter Coat

The winter coat I wear is a brilliant shade of red.
I’ve got on my long underwear and my scarf, gloves and hat.
Impentrable, fearless, tough, protected
I button up the charcoal togs and tighten my hat around my head
to brace for the expected wind outside, and our first date.

You try to kiss me and my eyes dart frantically for an exit.
Somewhere to slip away to.
Deer, kitten, mouse, plaything
When I feel hunted I sometimes wound in order to escape.
Maybe I’m not right in the head.

On date number two your coat brushes me when we kiss.
Deepest dark blue it hides your belly and makes you look dashing.
Tender, sweet, light, bright
My heart bumps a bit when we touch-I must be vigilant
But I do like it a little.

I tell you about the dream I had watching myself being held down by another version of me.
I couldn’t make my body move to escape.
Frustration, apathy, terror, disrepect
Is that concern or pity on your face
when I tell you I woke up crying?

Our third date you are distracted because work isn’t going well.
You wear a thick ski coat covered with those ugly epaulets.
Boredom, dissatisfaction, need space, need air
Maybe you are starting to lose interest in me?
Is it just a matter of time?

We have a fight on our fourth date but I don’t know how it starts.
The slightest perceived hurt brings words of destruction from me.
Sweetheart, father, lover, sadist
Just tell me who you want me to be and I’ll be her.
Am I running away from you or are you running away from me?

These thick coats we wear to protect ourselves from the cold
Keep us from actually touching.
Invincible, girl, boy, disarmament
But maybe, if we both undo a few buttons at the same time
it’s a start?

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One Response to “The Winter Coat”

  1. william christian Says:

    hey e, wow, i loved this poem. i don’t know much about poetry outside of the classes i took in college, but i had a deep viseral feeling, as i watched the story unfold. feeling self-conscience to go on in this public forum, but thanks for including me in this. sorry it’s taken me so long to comment. b

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