My fist can be a stone

in the throat of humanity -

it would be so much easier

than letting my fingers splay

across the small of it's neck,

than letting them wing away

like birds reaching for the day,

for experiences bigger

than themselves.

                sometimes, I can feel that breath

                on the back of my neck, the scent

                of cigarettes, that hand branding

                my body, a hot iron

Some days my jaw is hinged

and my teeth are gates locked

shut – I'd rather shut

up, than say a single word

you've said, even

“I love you” with the

sick sweet of antifreeze and

anesthesia on my tongue -

                your fingers tasted like death

                and crushed moth's wings,

                the night you held them to my lips

                and said “taste this”

Worms still writhe in my gut

some nights, and sometimes

I heave from the stagnant

decomposition of memory.

                

                the taste lingers like the fading glow

                of a burn – I can feel the searing of

                your calloused hands reaching up

                as though you wanted to pull my spirit

out of my body, with all the

                gentleness of a fish hook

                and you took no time with the line

My hand's a fist those nights,

so it can remember nothing

but my whitening palm,

and none of your skin.

Those days, I just want to

drop those crumpled wings,

cut them free, let my fingers

fly away from the memory,

leaving nothing but kite strings

and fish bones where they

used to be.