Rosanna Warren reads


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When you turned to me—you in bed, still sleepwarm, against
                                                                                            the pillows,
I across the room, skirt zipped, stockings on—
and you asked, so quietly,

“Was that a truthful answer?”

and outside our narrow third-storey window
the Norway maple was poking odd thumbs into the sky
and a skim milk early morning light leaked down the street,
down front porch steps, around grimed collars of snowbanks,
and the oval Victorian mirror of my dresser
reflected all that, with odd angles of rooflines, gutters, chimneys
                                               jutting into its peripheral vision,

your question cut
like a knife so sharpened it
  slices clean and the surprised flesh doesn’t know for a moment
                                                                                        how to bleed,

and I answered, after a pause
in which the strangeness felt like a form of love,