Tal Abbady


She hears the snap of light
Her body coiled into mind, all stumped repose.
When Orpheus turned to look, disturbed some gutteral sleep,
All was shot through with daylight.

A husband has brought this on with a bed lamp,
The switch hard as cragged rock.
"I was dreaming," she says. "Turn the light off.
I was dreaming you were on trial."

His knees hobble with sleep
to the bathroom. In the mirror
there are the mild crevices of brow and mouth.
He thinks the streaked shadings
might be the vague swarm of a soul
and he hopes to be frightened by it
every night, when the sink,
mottled with dried soap, is unfamiliar and rich
with the fray of old shadows.

"Will you turn the light off!"
He stands at full height, no longer drawn with sleep,
Just a man's sprawl in the mirror. There is his old form heaving with breath.
"Someone almost spoke but didn't," he thinks, he is sure.
In bed his wife is all rummaged hair and lung.
Pinioned in warm sheets, her own breath flags to a dream of trials.

Prior to her recent move Tal Abbady taught English in New York City high schools. She now contributes a column to a community newspaper in South Florida. Her work has appeared in The Brooklyn Review.


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