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You laid down halfway on my bed
& you said, I can sleep on the floor
I shook my head
You stretched out along the radiator

I asked, is this something that could get you in trouble
Are you sure, you said We're just going to sleep
I said I know, I just don't wanna be that girl
You said I understand & I laid down

& I stayed, even though my arms were cold
Even though my feet were cold
I was safe with my back against your hands
I put on some socks
I put on a sweater
I listened in the dark to your lungs & the radiator

You got up & went out of the room
When you came back you headed for the floor
I lifted my head
& you changed direction

You waited til my breath went slow
You had an arm over my side
I let go of how my muscles hold themselves
You said I'm sorry as you climbed quietly out
I woke up sick to my stomach thinking I had overstepped

When the sun rose I stood over your feet to make the coffee
You got up & stretched & we stood there

& you said Yeah, so your radiator's really really hot
Like really hot, I'm sorry
& I said Oh, & you reached your arms out to me
& I could've cracked up
I knew you weren't kidding
I knew you would've stayed


from Dispatches From the Well, released October 3, 2012



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Fiona Chamness Ann Arbor, Michigan

Fiona Chamness is a poet and songwriter from Ann Arbor, MI. She is coauthor, with Aimée Lê, of Feral Citizens, published in 2011 by Red Beard Press. She belongs to the poetry ensemble Ann Arbor Wordworks and two bands, Helicopter Parents and The Cutting Room Floor. She has performed poetry and music in Ann Arbor, Chicago, Oberlin, Hanover, Boston, St. Louis, Berkeley, and Sevilla, Spain. ... more

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