we am not a birds.
there is no sky large enough to hold us
and no nest small enough to contain what we were.
i think we’re moving backwards now, cautiously,
unsure of what lies behind us
though we’ve been lost in it all this time–the past,
with all its grievances and wringing joyous hands.
i left palmprints on every surface we passed on our way here
so that i could find my way home again when it ended
(because everything ends) but i forgot the existence of rain,
i neglected to factor in erosion and its hunger,
and now i am forced to my knees as an infant again
finding my way back to a womb that no longer welcomes me.
i have become a sponge
and soaked the emotions of my mentors
greedily, through my pores: am i empath,
compassionate, or a poser? i am not sure
and the loss of you has made me feel erased so cleanly
that any pencil applied could fill in my blanks. i am blank canvas now
but i want my own story.
my hand shakes too much to grasp any pen.
we are holding between us the covers of our history.
the divorce is clean-cut: i’ll take half, you’ll take half,
and neither will make sense without the other.
such is the truth with halves, and i mourn it
but how could we ever be whole again?
we are an amalgam of hearts unloosed;
we are a breeze lightly fingering lips and tongue,
we are a crush of sensation against the breast
so as to leave others without breath.
we are the thieves who stole your heart.
we are the reason and the meaning of beauty.
we are the correlation of mind and body:
the intersection of rhyme and reason,
the split second sonic boom
between two mouths crashing together for the first time,
we are love,
we are hate
we are poets
these stones between us should form steps.
we should, hesitantly, put out our feet, and move close
until the space between your dips and my rises is less than it was,
until the taste of your breath is not foreign to my tongue,
until your fingernails are the reason for the crescents on my palm.
these nails on our lips, so bright
under the mutual microscope of our gazes should melt–
they should melt and fuse each crack in our ribs,
that we might become invulnerable to each other’s whiplash tongues;
we should speak, we should realize each thought,
because it matters.
this chasm should fill with the magma i can see
bubbling beneath our raw skins
oozing softly between the spaces
where we once completed each other.
we should coalesce, because it is meant to happen.
separation should be a blot of ink
on a page in our history–
we should come together,
but who should brave this breach first?
this distance is more than our breath is capable of traversing,
yet rulers would laugh at its brandishment-
we should, too.
i know how to solve this.
i know you’re afraid.
hold out your hand- i’ll do the rest.
staring into the bloody water sloshing on blue porcelain
i am tempted to call the police and report this massacre, until i remember:
this is only the passage to a womanhood i do not want.
how many times
i have lifted my lashes
to the sky
stretched my lips
softened into the elegant curve of a bow strung
to send off
(arrows) of joy, at the slightest stroke of hesitant fingertips;
have i thrust out my breast
like the soft seeking metal
cocked to shoot off on hair triggers
small capsules of bright light happinesses,
at the first fumble of unsure fingers-
have i thrust my shoulders back,
as though proud of every pound they protected
from hitting the ground,
when i (more than anything in secret) wanted
this was a lullaby to me once.
i played it back when the dark kept her soft hands
close bout my throat, to remind her to loosen her grip;
i played it when sunlight stole my breath
rather than politely taking it– when the dewdrops on my lashes
were stones, and not jewels.
this was a lullaby to me once.
under cover of its feathers
i began the long journey to flight,
though only recently had i ceased to fear
the wind behind me–
become convinced, finally, that
the intent behind its persistent shove was not to see me fall
but to help me soar.
this was a lullaby to me once,
was a little erotic;
but you made it a eulogy
and now it drains a little more of my color each time it plays.