something happened

we were freshly married
maybe only weeks or months
you were doing dishes
but knew I was in the kitchen
I came up behind you
encircled your waist
kissed the skin just below your ear
you screamed, seemingly in fear
and shrunk away, dropped a plate
I felt stabbed, perplexed
asked what was the matter
you said nothing I just don’t like that

in our decades
if I asked about your past
you answered vaguely
and changed the subject
so I did not press
it is forty years now

you have never seen me stumbling drunk
but when I take a drink
even one beer
under controlled conditions
you ask me why I need to do that

so I think
in the decades before we met
something happened
something happened
too painful for you
buried very deeply
our hearts cannot touch it
a sore that will never heal

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