Dennis Perry Clark is a retired chef and writer, living with his wife and daughter in Northern California. He is a self-taught writer and enjoys the freedom of poetry in particular. He has appeared in Figroot Press and Poydras Review with forthcoming work in Indigo Lit and Oberon Poetry Magazine
A Thin Slice
Sometimes, she turns the bed down so tight,
it stops breathing. Patiently, I wait, as she
smooths the sheets, for it to be just so, then with
a deep sigh, I sit upon the foot of her perfection,
watching, as her face, seeks to fetter a cringe.
Peeking back, as I excuse away, to catch her, as
she springs to her feet, and in trifling disgust,
hurriedly pull taught my wrinkles, brush
away my traces. This she remembers, I think,
as an artless smile, reaches for my ears.
Each morning, the hours spent, fussing over
herself, in unbroken doubt, as if she will
shatter upon a single flaw,
in veiled despair she asks, do I look alright?
wresting from me, the words,
the words she chose.
Moments later, with a twirl she returns, to show
that she has changed, added a belt, untucked
her top, cleared the sweep of her bangs, or
freed her captive certainty. This she remembers, I think.
All those smallest of things, that she does, that I
do, again, and again, so that she won’t remember,
I think, my slow wasting, my shelled husk.