I Don’t Know


I almost slipped on a patch of ice tonight

as I was letting the dogs out. I felt my feet

go out from under me and for a split second.

I imagined my head smacking the deck

with such force, such sound, that you

came rushing out to help me.


I imagined a present where

I could count on you.


I came back inside and you were already

fast asleep in bed—covered up in blankets 

I'd worked so hard to earn. Breathing

breath that didn't belong to you. I wonder


what would've happened had I actually

slipped on the slick.


I bow my head, seal my heart,


and sigh myself to sleep.


Rachel Tanner is a queer, disabled writer from Alabama whose work has recently appeared in Tenderness Lit, Wine Cellar Press, and elsewhere. She has a monthly videogame writing column in Videodame and she tweets @rickit.