ANTHONY LICCIONE

When Light Shines Unattractive

It was the same routine,
I would swipe off the blankets
and my underwear to the floor,
crack a window open and throw
a towel over the birdcage,
toss my anxieties in the closet
and shut the light off.

When I went into bed
to fondle with her breast
and kiss the aftertaste
of wine from her lips,
this time she turned to me and asked,
why do you turn the light off
while we make love?
I told her I was more comfortable
in the dark.
She said to me her past lovers
made love to her with the light on-
I told her it was hard for me to ejaculate
into the light.

She told me as a child
she use to be afraid of the dark,
I gave her no comment and went into her
holding her trembling hand.

She told me she wanted to see my face
while we were in the moment,
I told her it was better she didn't.

And as I drove her gently into the squeaky
springs of the mattress,
gaining control to the peak of speed,
I asked her in the stark of darkness
losing my words in the ceiling fan
buzzing above us:

Why does the moon bleed when light has vanished?
Why does a wolf make its kill in twilight?
Why does a thief steal in the night?
And why, but why did Jesus die in the gloom?

She stopped for a moment
matching the rhythm of our hips-
like a song suddenly turned off,
as a flood of moonlight indirectly spilled
through the blinds and on the shadows
of our discontent faces.

She never asked me that question again.








2005 Underground Voices