these ink-stained hands

By: Kristy Kwok

there’s a galaxy, all ink and stars, that spins below your collarbone, 
and i can’t help but wonder who drew it:
did they see you as i see you? did they mean it to remind me
of the truth that other hands have gone where mine just dream they’ve been?

you hung a butterfly, mid-flight, on the branch of your left shoulder
and i can’t help but envy its position:
does it know i’d rip off both my wings, and trade my legs for frozen ink
as long as i could guarantee you’d stay?

there’s a compass, pointing ever north, that’s nestled at your ankle
and i can’t help but wish that i could change it:
for you are not the girl who stays, you are the girl who charts her journey
to the sunset as my dawn begins; as i’m begging you to wait.

i am not a girl who journeys, but for you i’d chart a course
to the forests, to the oceans, to the endless sky above;
i will follow constellations, beating wings and compass roses
till i’ve climbed inside your arms, until i’m finally at home.