Rub

Lying still,
smiling like the dead under his champion’s hands,
I close the faces of old friends in my mind.
At last a snarled night unknots itself from my stomach
and although there’s no bite left in me,
all the madchildren together
couldn’t snatch away my mane and claws or
turn his gentle hands cold on my shoulders.

I no longer hear the curdled words,
the bitter hymns like dry leaves,
or choke on the hostile air surrounding
the children of my lunacy
whose green spring under my artist’s fingers
astounded me once. I can’t hear them.
His hands knead the voices away
and the brine washes out the dregs.

I nuzzle into the pillow and
let the pieces knit;
No crazies anywhere, and me
afraid to close my eyes in case I see them.

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