Tuesday, January 12


It is not right that I cannot pull the ghosts
and wreckage of all that pain out of your hand,
clenched half-closed around a cigarette,
while your lips firm with the idea that I will turn my back.

I cannot say: here is my heart, full of teeth
and bent nails, bound to destroy, bound to reform--
I cannot speak without the rust of tears betraying me.

Give me your hand and let me draw out the cobwebs,
put your palm over my chest full of forge-coals and discarded ore,
touch me and be assured that I know of sorrow,
know of its threads that come loose and tangle,
knot around the tongue.

I cannot say: the stars in their bloody orbits know
that I am unable to walk away from your wounds
with healing held behind my sharp teeth,
ever needing to press my mouth to the cut,

to whisper black ink and snip loose threads,
prayers rising in smoke. I cannot tell you
I can hear your refusal to acknowledge that pain.

You grit your teeth and go on, you turn
your face aside from the only words I have to give.
We are not twins, but mirrored. I do not fear any end
but uselessness.