keep breathing

more than anything
i want to reach behind my back,
remove the knife,

find the zipper and
p e e l it slowly
down the backs of my bowed legs–
to lay myself open;

raise my arms so that skin falls
around my feet and pools
and quietly step forward out of,

my fondest wish– my life’s dream has shriveled/diminished
to merely the meanest method of scrubbing away
the last traces of who i was during you:
erasing the me that you knew so the last line reads
like the person of whom you remained blissfully ignorant.

and i would kick away the skin you touched;
i would rewire the cells you affected
so that they knew nothing of electricity–
i would–i would…i would

oh, god, what have i done?

my fondest wish– my life’s dream has diminished/shriveled
to discovering the most astringent method of exfoliating your touch.

i would run on my tiptoes, eyes closed,
arms spread to fly:
i’d dive into the ocean and soar;

i would emerge as myself,
glued together with only hairline cracks
(as whole as i could manage)
and almost entirely my own

(but forever with the memory of your gaze on the back of my tongue)


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