to tell me her husband was once unfaithful.
Mouth sutured shut,
I think of my marriage.
How sometimes we’re upside down,
held by our ankles, loose change
falling from our pockets. Quarters, dimes
dint like rain on a metal roof.
Then just like that, we’re righted, pockets jangling.

She bleeds on about her children.
I see them tall and wooden—soldiers
standing sentinel by the fire
as less-crafted brothers burn.

My ears perk at sex.
Sex with her husband she is saying,
how it’s better post affair.
She wonders (biting her lower lip, blood
disappearing, reappearing)
if he learned something new from the other woman.

I see her husband down on his knees
between mine. My mouth
stitched into silence.

She pauses to paint her sliced mouth
blood red.

I pull the thread from mine.