He grabs my wrist in the back lot. Says, let me save you.
It’s late August. The air so thick even the sun gave up on setting weeks ago, just dims itself a little. So, I’m laughing.
So, this isn’t a small town, and no one so much as looks up or gossips in the supermarket. So, I can do any kind of harm
assuming we’re very quiet and don’t make any inconvenience.
I want to forget altogether. How two bodies exist in the same room. How, turning half away, I could almost forget he was there.
Just me. Just the faceless people blurring in
and out, each looking exactly like the other.
It is so easy to be wantless.
At night, the palindrome of my body flickers between itself.
Imagine a sky at war. Tall trees like
red wire. Fuses switched on and off by the enormous hand of God.
Closed door. Sharp hands. The agnostic pain of
Just say how it is.
You, running down the flight of stairs.
You, cleaning blood off the tile floor of melrose church. You, in my bedroom.
You, holding too tight, tugging down, too terrified to walk outside.
You, hanging blankets over the windows to keep the light from creeping in.
I took your picture in the bathroom like we used to. Hung it up on the wall
around the corner like a secret. Like I can’t tell how I think of you.
Like I dreamed all night of you leaving. Two blanched corpses, humming,
like shame is a language bodies speak.
Morning is sterile and the headlines read TRAGIC! in capital letters. The house is hemorrhaging
yellow tape as water rivers out the bathtub inventing steam inventing machinery instead
of skin- hallelujah!
I take a scalpel to the kitchen floor. I take a scalpel to the meat of my hand.
I’m digging us out.
The knife says: Tragic! The knife says None of this is real.
The walls hum a tune about loneliness and mold exposure and the
terrible weight of summer light. It starts again. Of course there are choices we make them
all the time.
“Kingdoms in the wild” always reminds me of Aracelis Girmay’s “kingdom Animalia” simply because of the similarity in their names. That poem is earth-shattering, though, so it’s quite a compliment.
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