spent of fuel, they detach and fall away
Brian Ross, “Perigee”


your hurt is a story

you tell without opening

your mouth.
look at yourself
how you tell it

so often too much to anyone,

how your neck
blooms open &
your shoulders

weep in any kind of place—

a night city sidewalk.
a train. a warm-
lit bedroom full
with your own name.

when your assailants, in bits,

are lodged
in your bones
& teeth & you chew
on them daily

the one you want

to love can know
how to escape you
by entering
your mouth.

how can anyone fall

for a face
telling secrets
no one wishes
to know?

& strangers

at your wrists
letting go
in pools

at how you
breathe, over &
over again

i don’t know how to be kept

you spill. &
you tell this story
so often

you open
your mouth
without ever
being asked



  1. Greg Roll on

    Joy, I loved your poem. So much is said without saying a thing. Broken is what comes to mind.

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