What Lies Beneath

by Stephen Ellams


Another evening of solitude, darkness and descent,
Month-long disconnect from the bed that we share.
I hear staggering-home laughter, my daughter sleep-talking
And the frivolous dialogue of your TV dream world.
Lorn, I feel myself sinking into a foam of sad memories
That anchors my heart to the deepest despair,
And I lack Aries’ valour to crack open your shell
Sweep you in my arms, kiss you back up the stairs.

So, instead, close my eyes and drift into our young prime
Before dry rot set in, and I could hold your stare.
And, as sirens would sing to me, blithe, semi-naked,
You would tie me to the mast and rip open my shirt
Then go down on your knees, Ellie, lust-drunk, so eagerly
Driving me as wild as your coiled mousy hair.
But now that kind of thing is at my instigation
For the fire in your loins, my love, just isn’t there.

And maybe I am to blame for the decline in your yearning:
Delusions, dark musings, crushing love affair.
My reluctance to carry you over the threshold
All the times that I’ve left you alone and perturbed,
But I, too, was left aching, half seas over, naked,
Reliant on self-help, not looking elsewhere
Until my eyes became glazed with the internal malaise
Of convincing myself that you just didn’t care.

That’s when I set sail to her.


Copyright © 2016 by Stephen Ellams

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