Under the Covers

The only place where I feel safe, under the
warmth of covers next to my bare skin. He
reaches out a hand to acknowledge my presence, for me to
acknowledge his. I curl over harder, inching farther away to the edge.
All to show that I am not okay, that I crave my own space.

I struggle over the act versus the lack of explanation that should exist.
My inaction has become my only voice, remaining silent when he prods
to know if I’m okay or need anything.
I need space, more space than this place allows.

“We don’t have to …” I whisper in reply.
“You mean you don’t want to.”
He understands more than I can say.

I need to leave this tension, this room closing in
but these covers, this space, I cling to
as the only tenderness that remains.
He waits for movement as I lay there
clinching, hoping, waiting for it to pass.

He tells me to breathe.
How can I relax when I just want to scream?

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