Moonlight paints us into corpses
as we lie tangled in bed. I cling to you
like a boy clings to his teddy bear
in darkness, listen
to crickets shake their rattles
over the splash of cars passing
through rain puddles. All night
I lie awake with you
relearning the curves of your flesh,
the satin brush of your hair, devour
your cologne as it rises like steam
from your skin. I hold
you until the moon is through—
when sunlight brushes flesh tones on me,
but leaves the gray tinge of an effigy on you.

©Shawn Nacona Stroud

♦This poem previously appeared in Issue 8 of Mississippi Crow Magazine.