Civilization by Jennifer Reeser
Send your army home to their wives and children.
It is late. Your soldiers are burdened, thirsty.
Lock the doors, the windows, and here in darkness
lie down beside me.
Speak of anything we possess in common:
ground or law or sense. Only speak it softly.
Spiders crawl the crevices. Violent voices
ruin their balance,
and they’ll fall – intuit – upon our faces,
where I fear them most. But you’ve heard this terror,
and my midnight phobias always move you –
cause to remain here.
Leave a light still burning, in some far wall sconce.
Tuck one rebel end of the flat sheet under.
Turn away, self-ruled, to remind me even
Sappho was mortal,
even Shakespeare, writing of cups and spiders
in his winter’s tale. Send your tin men home, then.
Once I asked your reason to stay. You said,
“Because you’re still with me.”