If you harbor in my safe house by P.E. Sloan

If you harbor in my safe house
You will cut a page from the book of life
You will walk along a highway that belches ozone
You will ignore the cars and focus on stymied lives of bare branches
You will stop mid-page
And examine a petal of memory
You will wonder where you meandered
You will turn to her as she sleeps peacefully
You will stroke her bare flank
You will inhabit her exhalation
She will throw an arm around you
Her breast will breach the coverture
You will embrace as you have for ten thousand nights
As snow falls in deformed pellets
You will remember your father
Up before dawn to shovel a path
You will toss and turn
You will remember that you miss your father
That he always seemed to know the way
The early dawn birdsong will remind you
That you did not sleep well
You will be anxious for the day that will unfold
You will consider what to write on this page that you have cut
You may question what a book of life might be
You will long for soft snow that has no need for clearing
You will think that you have crushed
The afterimage but you will remember
Too late, perhaps, that the palimpsest remains
Like your baby son’s face that holds
The emotion after it passes
You will harbor an unstruck image
You will cosset in your chimera of dreams.

P.E. Sloan is a writer who lives in Northern Virginia and Brooklyn with his wife, Donna Cameron.  Originally from Chicago, P.E. attended college on the East Coast and then worked as a reporter and photographer and, occasionally, clueless deckhand in New England and the Florida Keys before getting some additional schooling and settling in for the pleasures of the long haul. His poems have appeared in Third Wednesday, Poetica, Cathexis Northwest Press and District Lines.


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