A Shadow Apology

I cannot revise my heart.
A woman, uncomfortable with silence. A man, with hands made
for closing doors.
How close we came to love:
its shadow falling long upon our fearful faces, like we were children still,
holding hands in the wake of something vast enough
to swallow us whole.
I wanted to apologize for hating you:
the boy whose father broke his fingers — who held me strange because of it
— and watched through the years as his knuckles brought the ghosts closer.
(I only wanted to get closer.)
I’m sorry that I bled my body in your bed, that I stood outside your window
wrapped in your sheets, that I cried so much in your bathroom
you thought the faucet was broken.
I did have a voice.
I did want to use it.
I spent years collecting adjectives until my drawers were full of them,
but I couldn’t make my mouth move;
I was broken, too.
I had my own father.
My own fingers, bent strange, that could not arrange
the space between us into more.
I know I shouldn’t hate you — I was scared, too —
but they never tell you how love’s shadow falls entirely too dark.


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