I spend all my day
curled in your arms,
your mouth tenderly before my ear.
Come, look at me, you say, watching
me sway side to side, defenseless gaze
your betrothal. I will not hurt you, I
love you magno(Ju)lia.
I thumb scarred wrists,
laid down to rest on the Word robed
flesh, you don’t even flinch.
I don’t want this emptiness,
even my smile fades fake.
I can erupt tears a moments notice.
Right now, for instance.
If I look at you, I know shame will turn
my bottom lip down, I’m sorry, I’m
sorry, I’m sorry, I can’t do this.
Alone at night, when mother sleeps
beside me, house hushed, I lie
awake. I tell you, please don’t take
me. Blood curses through me, quiet.
I don’t want to exhale one last time.
I fear someone laughs at me,
covering their mouth with palm.
How foolish can she be? We have
numbered days. Today. Tomorrow.
Any day could bring us back how
we came. I know what you say,
peace, I leave with you. My peace
I give to you. I do not give to you as
the world gives you. Do not let your
hearts be troubled, nor afraid.
I tremble, closing my eyes.
Am I still here? I breathe.
You will fight for me, I need only be
I don’t need to be terrified of them,
the voices condemning me inside.
You go before, you never leave, nor
You know when I rise, sit, discern
fear I can’t articulate, swirling
my head around until I well. I want
your blood & body not on a plate,
but between my void–fingers
clasped with your healing, arms
cradling my wearisome head,
a kiss against my fore,
lullaby without word.
Quiet my mouth with first and last
finger who presses selah where soul