unscheduled and I had been
comfortable in shifting drought.
in my backyard,
sun-blistered toes on  grass,
flimsy sky blue sundress
dotted with nondescript flowers,
hem slipping up to expose my own,
a garter wrapped around my left thigh:
fresh with conquest,
lasting impact of
your parting mouth that just
hangs there and hurts when I

I’m counting
cicada shells
under the picnic table.
a gesture of presence.
Someone told me to stop replaying old voicemails and
I needed a year to pass.
I scrubbed away the last of your fingernail but I have to
ride the bite marks out.

I blink to hold back.
a ripple in the sky bursts
and she,
condensed and aimless,
shows just one day’s worth of self-containment,
it’s black and soft and seamless,
full of mild violence,
the veins of my feet become
muddy streams
before I even notice the shadow
wash over my bangs.

head drenched,
dark red now because you liked subtlety
and I liked
(you a whole lot)
demonstrating power
and auburn wasn’t enough to show
cock with just a thornless bush
so I adorn myself with ritual,
cleanses that draw attention.
my knees hurt and all those cicadas are dead
so I stand
to lift my face to the thunder.
a small gesture of inflorescence.

open my arms
like petals
of a dry red rose
learning how to drink.
parched from the work my dry red words had done
undoing as they roamed free
in your front yard.
God makes pacts with penitents
and I left you.
(I should begone by now)
I stick out my tongue to catch all she had.
Bold with my repentance and ready to wash the phantoms
but the gray sky  remembered

she had lightning.
suddenly elucidated,

I am the dark thing inside of me.




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