Dear Eros

He was always a winged thing and I was always
a grave, an openness. That’s how we knew
our belonging and how we knew it wouldn’t last.
I was too bloodless, staining our garage with prayers
of anger and broken coffee cups. All love cost us
was fear and a bag of frozen raspberries, sweetened
condensed milk, and a blade. I belonged to him
in the left side of my ribs and in each systole. The homes
we made in each other gave us four waterfalls and bouquets
torn from spring branches, four walls we mortgaged
and dishes shaking their cupboards. We used to walk
the arboretum and subtract the ducklings each week
without any sense of grief. The old celery fields smelled
of cinnamon some days. Others, mint. I would jump
on his back like we were young, nearly innocent,
with laughs as dark as our halos. I wished Always
but the dandelion seeds were stubborn, everything ripe
refused my mouth. When I said Come home, it was a lie,
but I believed it. For a year I was light shaking on
the surface of the water, a fire softening into a flood,
and once his hand around my arm like a snake circling
a branch in Eden. Not all secrets are shames, and this one
isn’t either. It’s the pale green of healing. It’s my lips
opening like parentheses and his name inside, it’s turning
back from the wrong north, the moon like a slice of raw
onion, my skin weeping like a fever, closing the question
with my hand around my other arm so I’ll match, so I’ll burn.

From Come the Slumberless to the Land of Nod (Copper Canyon Press, 2020).

Read on . . .