Like somehow I thought the paper bag adage true,
like somewhere I heard then believed that ash cleanses,
like sometime between Point A and Point A, I applied laws
of women like those of physics. Old songs sing of tying yellow ribbons,
a friend wrote red, but you and I, we shredded the orange, blue,
pink to bind branches, a somehow-New-Mexican sunset between
stone slab walls and subway stops. I don’t mean to lack culture, but
white wine’s always been better than the cello, and weeks passed,
weathering the colors to weary, much like you to me; I discovered that
steel + tile = a shattering, which is also the sum of a bum rushed
blueberry bagel raising and the unfaithful, so I unraveled, littering
the lawn like my floor the day I gifted 100 chocolate eggs – not even
Easter – wielding my “Most Attentive Not-Boyfriend Ever” trophy
before melting it down to mold armor in a war to ward off a dozen
less-than-worthies. See, the closed-hearted could label it failure,
my fallen face and bruised knuckles when you train-tracked to
destinations too far east for me to fathom, begged me to bite over
still-fresh bruises, and I promise I was the best at sharing in
kindergarten; I guess even the isolated is subject to society’s standard
of Normal containing Jealousy. I almost drowned in your pretty
words and five-dollar prosecco toasts to tree art, but to cliché
so deep my nostrils fill: I’ve heard plenty of sticks and stones and
always imagined them thrown. I’ve learned the best way to forget
want-to-hides is to crush them under rocks.

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