Just Before 2AM

            for Gus

Through the blinds, a shaft
of moonlight finds your back,
then builds a staircase, connecting

your ribs, hip, and thigh: the parts
of your body I touched
with my lips just moments ago.

As you turn to slide your arms
into terrycloth, the stairs fall
away from your skin and break

apart against the wooden door.
On your return, clouds shift
in the sky. Now my eyes must

tread across the memory
of light to find a place for sleep.
In just hours, morning sun

will overwhelm the artful
shadows and leave our bodies
bare. When we wake, I’ll close

my eyes, bury myself as long
as I can against the brightness.
But you, as always, will rise

to meet it, shrugging off the night.

This is a reprint of work originally published in Sunset Liminal.

Nicole Byrne suffers from a crippling addiction to poetry. She self-medicates with copious amounts of black coffee, avocados, hot sauce, and rock ‘n’ roll. The treatment does not appear to be working and she hopes it never does. As of August 2015, she has uprooted herself from Maine to move out to Kansas, where she is embarking on the quest of receiving her MFA at Wichita State University. Her work has previously been published in Words Dance, The Sandy River Review, and Sunset Liminal. Find her online at http://nicolebyrnepoetry.tumblr.com and on Twitter: @nicolebyrnepoet.

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