Linger

The touch of a lover’s hand as it lingers across your skin,

soft caresses that have no path, no plan, staying intertwined legs, a head, a chast, a poem that teases at the back of your brain, a song lyric, a breath that catches as your eyes close and your mind whispers

sleep

you you

you still linger in my dreams

go away I say aloud, Please just go away

as my eyes open you linger like an aftertaste of something sour and bitter

you linger like the graceful touch of skin against nettles,

of the scorch of an iron pan, long after the heat is off

of a necklace dangling over the heat of an oven slapping back against my tender flesh

linger as we do as the sun is setting on still waters the sky scarlet and poppy and crushed violets. Until the mosquitoes nip and suck and whine

lingering as this winter exhaustion unable to stir, returning to bed once, maybe twice in a day.

Hoping to let the dreams remain at .bay, the lingering drool on your lips the only memory of sleep.

I recall your face as you lingered, watching me go.

You did not linger long when you decided to go.

but I linger here.

Wishing for you to linger just a bit, and tell me that you did.

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