Red Bedding Day
it was only after you had left that i saw the rusty stains on my sheets. we had been curled against each other, wet and exhausted, liquid and warm, pressed together like hungry, open mouths. fall was crawling in like a drunkard that night, slurring and stumbling in summer's whiskey sunset wake. i could feel my bed, wet beneath my back, and you, wet astride my leg. the sheets didn't wash very well, but what's another scar or stain after everything we've been through? you made embarrassed apologies, much like the apologies i would be making to you some months later. your sentiments were colored by chagrin, mine were tainted with anger and tinted with the color of prior betrayals that spilled over the dam and choked you under brackish water. she threw a millstone into the lake; months later, its ripples still lapped at the nape of the shoreline. and i swear from here to eternity that her worst deborah kerr was far more accomplished than my best burt lancaster. it's taken me years to admit that all i really wanted was to be montgomery clift and play the bugle and watch donna reed move across a crowded room.