Every other midnight, he remembers my olive skin
paling with anemic potential. He says that death swept
over me in less than a heartbeat, that the sound
of my heart echoed through white-washed rooms
like the gallop of a hundred horses charging,
while blood gushed from a wound no one could see.
For days, they wouldn’t give me a mirror.
He says they didn’t want me to see how pigment
had left my face, how death looked less like porcelain
than raw marble, my features chiseled and unfinished
while my lips moved in stone-like scrapes to ask
again and again for the child then a hundred miles away.
We’ve mostly forgotten, except for every other midnight
when he trails his fingers along my blotched bikini line –
a smile-shaped scar to remind – and I turn
to the sound of the child down the hall, and back
to his eyes. The memory bleeds fear into the space
between what is and what might have been.