a story between us
I felt it, the moment it started –
thick, like the way heat broils
in the middle of summer,
and three steps to the mailbox
and the desire to strip off
skin and smile, the only ringing thought:
get back inside where it’s safe.
Not, it should be noted, cool.
My heart clicked into place
like clockwork, gears beginning
to shed their rust. I was afraid
of everything, until you. Then,
I pulled every fear out by the roots
and burned them, carefully.
The smoke they made was not pretty,
but it was ugly with a purpose,
It was not a mistake. It is not a mistake.
This is not a prayer. This is belief.
Once, you held me
as if I was the wind:
fragile, impossible. Now,
is when I am about to shatter,
and I am so weightless,
I am weaponized sorrow –
a grenade already swallowed.
This is how I wage war
within myself. This is how I call myself
mistake, without believing it.
This is the way
I peel the fog apart, skipping sleep
and naming all the things
that prefer namelessness.
My heart cannot be hidden.
I tried to tame it. I could not.
I am not sorry.
This is the wildness that you love
about me, passion pricked
by fragility, always unwilling to break,
always ready to bend.
This is how you feel the word want
and need, unexpectedly. This is how love
becomes a rosary you count out
in the dark. This is how the world tilts,
and disaster thins out.
We are dirt
and circumstance, whispers
and abandoned directions.
We are the way rain
swallows a skyline, a ballet
of kisses, words threatening
to wilt on the windowsill –
this is waiting,
because words are useless,
because everything falls eventually
and I know – I know –
that this will fall into place.
I am longing at the top of the stairs.
You are a passion made of ashes
and apples – a reminder
that some things must burn
before others may be eaten.
A reminder that everything
was always something else first,
and nothing worthwhile happens