There’s just no scrubbing dawn clean enough
to heal last night, or the night before; no
muscling gray into motives, wine back into
the bottle, its shattering into an intact object
passed between hands to warm them.
I never knew words could be coffins.
Or I did but didn’t care. Which of us
is boxed up & ready for forever
depends on whose eyes you’re looking
through, whose story you believe,
the minor movements of a body
unasleep on a shared mattress.
Forgive me. That I cannot stop ash
from building back into flame. That
my mouth pressed to the burn is not
a kiss. In time, how marks move in-
ward. Now that the paint has worn
off, that I don’t love this house quite
enough to undo the damage. Once, I think,
we were held together by more than
spit & sky.
But pain is just handing the body
back to itself. Love: the same.
& perhaps we can learn to make
each other’s weight satisfying again.
Mattress bare, stained as a sky
before or just after storm.
& each new bruise is the same.
Are we merely shadows
among shadows to each other?
An apology in the making?
Old blood caked on an old blade.