Nathan Hernandez 

Mornings are always early for me,

I have flashbacks of things that I’ve already changed.

The sheep watches the lion,

he lays there content in my absence.

In the bathroom I make sure to be ready,

Black or blonde, subtle? Or should I let my personality show for once?

I sit on the edge of the bathtub tugging and pulling my hair,

expecting them to extract my thoughts.

My tears hitting the floor snaps me back.

I walk to the mirror and search for the woman I want to be.

I open my makeup bag and reach for my pill bottle,

take two and begin to continue my routine.

I go with blonde most of the time, it’s what he seems to like.

Though I would love to go all out, I keep it simple.

Black always seems right, but he might like the new blue bikini.

Showers are usually long, under the water my hands trace my body.

Footsteps grace the hallway floor.

As I finish showering, my ears are magnetized to his words,

“It was a long night, things are going good over here though.”

I add the last touch to my masterpiece, heading out to the bedroom.

I climb over him, kiss him on the cheek and ask how he slept.

A quite response comes from his lips.

I should be pleased that a response is given.

The decisions are his, I don’t want to come off as aggressive.

He reaches for his robe, his glass, and his paper.

Sometimes they seem to be the only things that matter.

I watch him walk to the balcony of the vacation home.

Every year it’s a different get away,

last year France, Hong Kong the year before.

“The farther the better,” he always says.

This year he decided to go subtle, a small town not far from home.

He calls my name.

I scurry to him with a ballerina’s grace.

He grabs me, pulls close.

This is all I ever wanted, feelings that feel like pure love.

He kisses me on the cheek, and soon tosses me.

I plant myself on the rail looking out to the water.

If I look far out, I can barely see my reflection.

My reflection… my reflection.

These vacations always come to an end, unfortunately,

though once a year I have something to look forward to.