To Someone Once In Love With Me

Have you ever felt guilt
over a lit fire, stoked
not by your hands,
but containing them.

I trembled
when you touched my spine.
Not because I wanted you,
But because I didn’t,
and I hated

how soft your fingers were.
The daylight, the bus,
the palm like a dying insect
between our hips.

You carved a city
in your mind, where we lived,
where my hair, gold,
splayed across the pillow,

where adultery and secrets
concluded with
our lips like prayers, release,
like hands in confession.

Instead; the war,
because self-torture
was the fashion, and you
wanted to hang.

Because I couldn’t stop
pressing my tongue, my fingers,
into air, smoke,

because you needed it to,
and I was childish;
wanted to be silver
but feared the shine.

I laugh, now ugly,
now whole, now apart,
seaworthy, precipice,
jade, jade, jade,

the butterfly of your name,
metamorphosed and distant,
escapes me, but
like a bruise

in my veins,
and the memory
of the city,
you remain.

–  To Someone Once In Love With Me, Eve A.


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