Friday, December 11, 2015

Embrace by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Her embrace broke my neck
She weighed only ninety-four pounds
but each ounce was purely intense

Her husband had threatened to kill her
He suffered from psychotic jealousy

She focused only on her survival
and had even forgotten her son

She still loved her husband
a foible common to abused women

She owned no pets
She was afraid of the dark

She hid books behind books
in her son’s bookcase

Her husband didn’t believe in women
reading books
He didn’t want her to speak to
or even look at
other men
There were men in books

She woke frequently in the middle of the night
to check for rabbits in her garden
She stopped when she and her husband were evicted

If she were murdered
she told me
she would come to my roof
in the form of two swans
necks entwined

Her embrace was powered by desperation
My only armor was
my good intentions

The sinews stood out on her arms
Her skin was blue
but she’d concealed their hue
with flesh-colored make-up

This was the third time
I’d had my neck broken
once when I was playing college football
the second when I was driving drunk

My doctor says that a spine was not designed for this
level of abuse

Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois has had over nine hundred of his poems and fictions appear in literary magazines in the U.S. and abroad. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and The Best of the Net for work published in 2011 through 2014. His novel, Two-Headed Dog, based on his work as a clinical psychologist in a state hospital, is available for
Kindle and Nook, or as a print edition. He lives in Denver. He works at combating his own ego, as Ego is the source of Greed, and Greed is destroying our world.

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