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Graze the lips with concrete and floss with blood
Wintergreen and sharp, pennies in the mouth that
Rattle like bicycle wheels down long hills.
Bandaid sticky, adhesive concealer that fortifies a face
To face the world dripping with bruises, salt, and the momentum
Was it the way the leaves fell,
streamlined, as I burst
bawling onto greenery,
or the first time sunlight peeked
through dark branches overhead—
or the reddish-purple skin
stretched over my sleeping body,
surrounded by fluid? What phantom
I tried on a mermaid dress the other day, and waddled two steps before stripping it off;
I saw how it snagged on my hips and clutched at my chest,
the same way I gripped the towels we tripped in so many years ago—
our hair, stringy and streaming from the community pool
i have never loved another in the way i have found myself to love you.
i have loved you the way the sun loves the dandelions
and the way the tides love the moon.
i simply cannot imagine a world where we didn’t save one another.
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?