the day you touched me, i was a child.
i was body on body on concrete.
everything was limber: the way my bones loosened
beneath flesh, the sifting bone attached to your hips
inside me. & your tongue, that restless thing
proved to be a black gospel, swung off the lip
like this was something casual. you gripped my waist
pried open my pelvis—relax you said. breathe. i relaxed.
counted the clock with a hymn—noooo weapons—count—foooormed
against mehh—counted each stroke—shaaaaall prooospeeerer.
you stained the room with my body. flung me into
the couch. to the walls. against the fireplace. soon, everything
went black. soon, panic spilled like moths from my mouth—
this was your love: if not the body, then the skeleton.
if not the skeleton, stand alone in the cold basement, breathe
become a bodiless host. scripture. mouth—let me start over:
when finished, everything surrendered & the walls fled
into the backyard. you left me standing, naked, not mentioning
tomorrow. or how to mend the brown skin once torn. when finished
you walked away a ghost, rested.