A Good Life

Last night I saw you tied to the railroad tracks.
I cut your legs off below the knees, trying
to free you. The recovery was slow-coming.
Many days you resented me. We found
we loved each other with a ferocity difficult to utter.
Some thought this came from the intimacy of bone
and muscle, or the way you leaned
against my weak frame in the mornings, to walk
under the sun. Some thought it was just the way we were born
to know each other. I thought none of these things—
only of the gap in your body where your feet used to be,
those feet I painted with orange paste once and watched absorb
the pigment like thirsty dogs, those feet I traced
with the tip of my forefinger, the feet I saw carry you
day to day. In my dream you only wept once,
and then quietly. In my dream you were grateful
to have been released.


-Gwyneth Henke