Once Upon An Ending

Here is your beginning:
her heart
like a star too hot to hold,
though it won’t stop you
from trying.
A girl who is not just a girl
because you think
you could love her —
no,
because you know
you could love her —
no, because you’re sure
that you love her.
And maybe you do.
Her mouth —
the straight teeth
— the pink tongue.
The way she says
your name.
This is the life
you were meant for.
The story
the television told you
when your mother worked late;
a chance to don a red cape;
a chance to save someone.
And you don’t care
that she cries at night —
only that she stops
when you hold her
— that the shaking
smooths into sleep
and somebody needs you.
You have made this girl need you.
This is your beginning.
Her hair
in your shower drain.
Her toothbrush
by your sink.
These are the realities
you could never
have imagined.
Her body
breaking away
from metaphor
until the blood is just blood,
and the bone is just bone,
until you leave her
waiting alone .
Her heart is a muscle
big enough to be broken.
You have wiped
the tears from her eyes —
you used to
wipe the tears from her eyes —
you used to
look into her eyes.
Here is your ending.

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