Now I Can Accept You
In those holding-hands photographs of us on my parents’ wall
time has begun to leach the color from you, and only you, as though
you had already pulled your roots out of me, even then.
I feel myself dying just speaking your name out loud
in the complete quiet that follows the memories of a childhood love.
I don’t know how to find the wounds I’m dying from
buried somewhere in these memories of half-spoken promises
you are everything and summer to me, an irresistible force
hiding under my heart
How I Identify You
I listen to your heart beating inside its cage of broken bones
the Braille graffiti of your chest, and even now I wonder
what things would have been like if you were whole when we met
if you weren’t so damaged by your past, would you have come to me?
I run my fingertips over the old cigarette burns along your arms
testament to a drunk stepfather who never bothers calling anymore, wonder
if I could somehow put the pieces back together, fix this mangled child
how long it would take for you to decide you didn’t need me anymore