My hands were broken. My teeth were sharp.

I leaned into you to give you the weight of it all — the heavy and hard; the holding, the hate. You thought, “beautiful” but there were other words for it, shorter ones, not quite as flowery. You said the broken was strength. You said the hurt was wars won, that my voice was a victory song.

I gave you my midnights, rode you raw — all thigh-burn and bruises. I said, “Here: have my fire, my heat — I’m never sure how long it will last. Take my skin, the bones, the rattle of my heart. I’ve long since lost use for it. Take my lungs — they’re sunken ships filling with water.”

You said their sails were white flags; in your eyes the rotten wood became crosses. You tried to kiss me blessed, but my palms knew no psalms — every bit of it was plastic — but I guess you hadn’t guessed.


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