We Never by Sheleen McElhinney
Our love was not loud.
We never threw lamps, never
upended the patio furniture
after locking each other out.
We never screamed or cried
or fucked the bed frame to splinters
in apology. We never said, stay,
don’t go. We never said coward,
or, bitch, or fuck you, or please. We never snuck through the window or slammed the car door or got inches too close
to bullseye pupils. Never wrenched
throats or yanked hair or murdered
each other or killed ourselves––
out loud. We did it all
quietly, like the slow climb of bare feet on the stairs, high heels hooked through my thumbs,
closing our door whisper soft, the quiet groan of my weight
in the bed, stiffing our backs
to each other, switchblade
shoulders brandished, slicing
the death between us, til silence
do us part.
Sheleen McElhinney is a poet, baker, robot maker living in Bucks County, Pa with her family. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Whiskey Island Magazine, Dogzplot, and Poetry Is Currency. Her debut book, Every Little Vanishing, was the winner of the Write Bloody Publishing book prize and will be released this October. She tweets @SheleenMc