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B.H. Fairchild


Leaning against my car after changing the oil,
I hold my black hands out and stare into them
as if they were the faces of my children looking
at the winter moon and thinking of the snow
that will erase everything before they wake. 

In the garage, my wife comes behind me
and slides her hands beneath my soiled shirt.
Pressing her face between my shoudler blades,
she mumbles something, and soon we are laughing,
wrestling like children among piles of old rags,

towels that unravel endlessly, torn sheets,
work shirts from twenty years ago when I stood
in the door of a machine shop, grease blackened,
and Kansas lay before me blazing with new snow,
a future of flat land, white skies, and sunlight.

After making lvoe, we lie on the abandoned
mattress and stare at our pale winter bodies
sprawling in the half-light.  She touches her belly,
the scar of our last child, and the black prints
of my hand along her hips and thighs.