He kept trying to explain—it’s your voice, the silkiness of your skin the way your hands move across the notches of my spine in search of all things blooming; in search of berries.
It’s the way your body glides in that gown, the way you moan when my fingers dance their way to your soft. your center. your woman.
He held you with one hand, always at arms length.
Said you were just too much. Delphic—never wanting to make you the center of his earth/his universe.
Said you were too difficult. Said, “no thank you.” He pushed back. It hurt.
He said you were terrifying. Said he was terrified. It was a tragic riot. You could kill yourself laughing.
He promised to visit. He said it twice.
He said it in three languages.
“Je vais visiter”
“Ndiri Ku Uya”
He let you know the relief of leaving things behind. And when he asked how you were, you didn’t say fearful. You didn’t say you were more scared than before. You raised your head. Chin up, and you did that thing–that thing that bent people do. The pretending. The, “oh, I’m fine.”
“Hush baby, you’ll be fine.” He said. “I’m a lone wolf. I howl at the moon and marvel at its orientation in each new country.”
Meaning, I never stay.
He says, “you’ll find someone else–a different kind of berry.”
So you straighten your back. Wipe that blood from yourself. Tender the wound. Carry your bones and sink into a pool of rose colored water as take care fades back.
A different kind of berry, you whisper. A different kind of berry.