I remembered last night
Unbidden, an image
Unwelcome, but needed.
The image must flash in your mind as it does in mine
From where you knelt on the cold linoleum
Voice cold, hands cold,
It didn’t hurt.
Didn’t hurt until they took their searing,
Burned the shape in like still lips
It didn’t hurt— I remember
The peer of my flesh, bloodless,
Like rows of little white teeth.
I thought nothing.
Then, the scarlet
Like ruby, like pomegranate, the handle, the text
How many months has it been,
And why did I tell you?
It screams from the streetlights, the cafés, my ribcage,
And calling back to
A mistake, a slip
There is terror in my skin.
Cold skin you touch, limp fish’s skin.
You are distant. I am awash
In the whips of the silver sand, hidden
In a quiet nook
I’ve familiarized with me.
The terror of hiding, the terror of emerging,
Of the palm of your hand
And the taste of coffee
And my silver skin.
She bought me coffee
With a splash of milk and candor
And a gentle push towards the book.
Wrapped my shoulders, pushed
My head down, eyes weak. (It didn’t hurt.)
Now, I blink
Wondering what has become
Of the amusement we once shared
In our hollows.
Your voice was cold, and
Palm slapped steering wheel
WHY DID YOU DO IT?
— I taste coffee.
There are things I cannot address, and I apologize;
But I know the value of short sleeves and the price they demand.
Last night, I remembered
This is not the Whiskey Rebellion.
I’m no Revolutionary.
This is just whiskey, and the places where
It burns in my nails are searing.
I’d scrub it out
And scoop my stomach
If I thought it meant
I’d be rid of the cold.
But my mouth and hands are all stained silver, and I am left
With sand rushing past me
And the coldness of your voice
How may I break it to you kindly that I only see myself in the reflection of a blade?
My reflection on your teeth smiles,
Opens its maw. I gaze in at it, wondering
At the marionette strings still hooked in my ribcage.
’Cause healing feels just like bleeding out, and
Why I can’t forget confounds me.
You do not.
The confusion around you swirls in
And rests at a point on your head.
Golden eyes, golden hair.
One day, your thighs will stop sprouting fingers,
And I will taste coffee without tasting blood.