IN FITS AND STARTS - rachel anne bondurant

When he sleeps, his dreams move him in fits and starts, and she wakes. To her they seem to shout and fight: his arms and toes, his legs and hands.

No, there—
But, what—
I’m not—

All of his limbs speak to her at once. They vie for the right to share their stress.

Her back is pressed to his chest. His breaths are quick. His heart is the beat skip beat of a small drum. She rolls to face him.  
At dawn, he is brave and sure.

Now, his face is pinched with fear.

She puts her hand to his chest, to his heart.

“I’m here,” she says.
He sighs and stirs, but his eyes stay closed. He stills. He does not wake.

He is true in a world where she is sure not much else is.

At dawn, he will be her truth.

But now, she keeps him safe. 

Rachel Anne Bondurant
Safe as Houses
Marie-Helene Bertino