rainstorm.

unscheduled and I had been
comfortable in shifting drought.
calloused toes on grass
walking too far and too hard
in unpadded sandals,
sky blue sundress,
flimsy, strap always falling down
so I have to watch the way I carry myself
around men.

hem slipping up my left thigh to expose the
DIY garter you gave me,
not the daisies I wanted:
ring of bruises
fresh with conquest,
lasting impact of
your parting mouth that
said nothing,
just hangs there and hurts
when I shower.
wait

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 those 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.
naked, she’s black and soft and
seamless,
surfeit with mild violence,
crackling,
cageless.

the protruding veins of my feet
warp into muddy streams
before I even notice the shadow
wash over my bangs.
wait.
drenched and dark red
because you liked subtlety.
I liked demonstrating power
and a hint of auburn wasn’t enough to show
blood with just a thornless bush
so I adorn myself with ritual,
hair dye and cleanses,
little thorns,
little kills to 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.
Wait.

open my arms purposefully
like petals of a dry red rose
exhaling in relief for the drink
her master brings.
parched from the work my dry words had done
undoing
as they roamed free all over
your front yard.
God makes pacts with penitents
and you barely have a face that isn’t
my reflection so I’m itching to be clean and
fresh and
start again.
I stick out my tongue to catch all she had.
cageless.
bold with my repentance and ready to wash away
the phantoms.
and suddenly charged,
the gray sky remembered:
she had lightning.

and suddenly elucidated,
I remembered,
I am the dark thing
inside me.

 

“prayer”

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