Afterwards

by Helen Jagger

Yesterday I felt your weight beside me on the mattress.
Later I saw you on the stairs.
 
Today I woke:
the bed was empty, your pillow smooth.
 
I reached out – the bed was endless, my fingers
too short, my eyes not strong enough.
 
I closed them and breathed in.
I stood up and the room shrank.
 
I cried out – you didn’t hear. I shouted,
screamed and beat the bed.
 
Am I too loud? Do I frighten you?
You’ve filled my head with blood and silence.
 
Are you downstairs among the books,
in the red chair, knee deep in unread newspapers?