365 Poems/213 Under The Surface (Rough First Draft)

Under The Surface

As soon as he’s seen under the surface

of that smile, to the darker stuff that snarls

and bites and howls, time jerks into slowmo,

and he backs off with both feet, and she turns

into a halved worm, a ransacked snail’s shell,

a dirty pebble, and she thinks that she doesn’t

mind if more than a third of her life is taken up

by sleeping. While she’s awake, her head is

too chaotic to be understood. But she’s not

just that chaos, she’s everything beneath

the surface  too. Peace crumbles after mid-morning

sex because chemicals in her brain aren’t

cooperating, and if he had the time, he’d carefully

take down the photo of her carefree face,

and stroke away the tears grouping underneath.