1.          you can keep your timid dreams.

short-breathed panting.

mediocre with fear.

tremble becomes a walk, a gait.

gate yourself safely

but do not ask me to stay.

 

2.         I am wild as spring.

Fire that makes glass

can melt it also.

Bridges can be cages too.

Let them all burn

with old mirrors

and door knobs.

 

You ever notice

how they call it a rope

burn?  How binding rips

into simple flesh and divorces

the skin?

 

3.         I have set fire to every photograph of every lover.

maybe that is too far.

Lover.

Temporary as tampon, sterile in their regard,

bleached

as memory.

 

This is how I cut the stain of you;

rusted, unsightly fabric.

stitched the hole left in my sheets,

in my panties,

until only a clean seam, or scar

as they are also called,

reminds me that something happened there

once.

 

When I was reminded to be humble.

When I was taught to be polite.

When I was raised to be a Christian, all forgiveness and long-suffering.

When I was beaten into being a good girl.

The best girl.

a girl that cuts her tongue from her mouth

and folds it into a quiet bouquet of blood.

 

4.         I was married once.  I said “I do”

and meant it.  Left my skeleton

at the altar and shape shifted

into a beautiful apology.

 

One year after the wedding, to the day,

my gall bladder exploded inside my body.

My gut was trying to form new bones

from the waste.

What a tragic way to love

my fear more than myself.

I have not done it since.

Loved.  Or should we call it

suicide, the way I buried my own name

in an unmarked grave

in some winter

where the ground will not yield

for anything less than a hurricane’s

unearthing howl.

 

5.         This is where I live, I say.

This is my name, I say.

These are the bones that belong to me.

Some of them

are yours.