lost you. (a quiet reply)

I never meant to leave a mark, love. All I seem to do
is press bruises on your neck or drag my nails too hard
on your ivory arms, leave my hand too long
on the quivering small of your back
and I never meant to leave you in the faceless
queue of bodies pressing on to their otherwheres.
The weight of the carnal mass in my chest
is too much for such small hands like yours.
And I confess sometimes I speak without
brushing my teeth pearly and unilateral, with a sluice
of bitterness in between, and I see how that kills you.

And I know I’m not what you asked for, a granite-heart
with thistles growing in a weed-ridden garden
and hate in her roots, no more faith to water.
Grow up, to an iridescent forever, hand-in-hand
with you, the way we dreamed as you tucked me into bed.
If you wonder when the night-light sputters out
if I miss the tender press of gentle tongues and ready grace-
oh my love, of course I do.

A year circumnavigating tempestuous waters
has left us dry, I think.
And I’d sail back to you, a thalassic lullaby
singing me home, but long ago
my crew jumped the ship, and my spindly sails
tear like curtains in the face of all our tempests.

M. Alden


4 thoughts on “lost you. (a quiet reply)

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