What rings in my bones
is holy, lights
which burst: there might be
scissors in the kitchen drawer.
opening to fit
my shoulder, to keep me
still. For the record, there
was nothing left.
I am losing everything
I touch, I am
bursting light, I am
God, you will remain
impossibly far forever—
The boots I seemed to have on
each time something heavy
crashed onto my skull, the laces which
long ago shredded through,
the uneven soles—
amid the fifteen more pairs
I bought to keep them company,
fifteen more dresses, the foundation
and lipstick and new turns of phrase,
I am imitating
Each fight, each moment without a map, slick eyeliner
across my face, something ripped off the wall, the night
in that cement basement when we echoed off each other
and could not stop. Love, maybe. We could not stop
hurting so we hurt harder, lower. Your soft hands which
always stayed soft, another thing to hang over my head:
denying the mirror the proof I begged it for every night
stumbling home not as drunk as the night before never
sure if the cold came from brutal Illinois winter or ache.
I loathe the emptiness, its obscurity. I loathe the worst thing,
the horror on your face when my back hit that first corner and
what could I do but fight your fire with as much of my own?
—I would rather anything than this stinging, hollow
place, would give up even the last happy moment if only
to alleviate the vacancy within me which has swelled ten times larger than my body.
I keep waking up hoping to feel skin which went numb
sometime that first January, sometime before it should have started
to hurt, cracking a little further open each morning. When I became vicious.
When I forgot myself throwing daggers. When I stopped.
There’s probably something left in that crumpled town, some day
when I go looking. I can find old places, I can make them mine.
Some year when I forgive us both.
I dreamed of your chest, wet
with shower water, the twist
of old comfort. In my own
bed where you once
parted my thighs
and covered my body
there is wind: wishing for another
taste of years ago wrapped tight
without struggling. We closed our fingers
for fear of drifting further
from the light, further
from the twelfth story window,
from the edge
I considered that last shattered-air night
when loving you hurt worse
than break-the-glass, than jump,
than concrete-on-bone, than pretending
it would make a difference to die: just the blood
of some girl in some parking lot in Kansas.
I stopped calling them nightmares
the day I woke up comforted
by the fading warmth of your mouth
against my collarbone—the tattoo on my thigh
which reminds me of you, reminds me that
this is not a nightmare anymore,
I am awake and I am used to being bruised.
When I left to live in the midst of my grief
I was running into the rain to keep dry
but drenched, gasping,
the glass beneath my feet is
at last worn smooth.
Poetry by Carly Taylor
Image found on google images.