She wakes to the back-hand slap
of rain against the double pane
and a dream that she can’t shake.
After coffee and a shower
it hangs a delicate chain
around her neck.
Across town he rubs his neck
a white knuckled dream slaps
cold metal chains
around his wrists, painfully
they ache. In the shower
steam rises, but he is shaking.
Outside puddles’ oily spills shake
the city awake by the scruff of its neck,
while a neighbor half asleep showers
her white blouse with coffee, slaps
her oldest child. Pain
sparks up her arm like a cold chain.
In another house, the first fight: the chains
of marriage begin to shake
the dream awake. A pained
morning commute replaces nights necking
in his father’s car. They feel the wet slap
of the day’s showers.
Upstairs, recovering from chemo, in the shower
she slips; he catches her. Nothing changes
the past, but here is the sure slap
of his calloused feet shaking
the floor to reach her–his soft kiss on her neck
forgives him, soft cools her pain.
At the flooded intersection, a car at breakneck
speed crashes. Metal showers the morning’s pane,
slaps the world awake. Everything shakes, changes.
Rebekah Keaton’s poems have appeared in various online and print journals, including recently in The Dying Dahlia, PoemMemoirStory, The Healing Muse, Rust+Moth and Common Ground Review.