jagged frozen hills thrust into my back
and numb the muscles under my skin.
i quake when the wind roars
through the stitches and
forces itself into my crevices.
you put your arm around me,
try to thaw the frost pulling my skin closed.
soon my limbs unlock
and i can press closer to your side
and i guess invitations
come in many different languages
(even ones that aren’t spoken out loud)
and i guess i didn’t know what i was saying.
words stumble over my teeth
and fall out backwards these days.
you grab and squeeze and i am winter again.
brittle branches that forgot how to breathe.
lips frozen shut. i know you want to evaporate them too.
my lungs are heavy with crystals
and my words are blocked
by the memory of your tongue in my mouth.
i close my eyes.
new day. moon has been whittled
down into a toothpick surrounded
by sleeping stars. i don’t look up.
my hands are shaking.
the world is turning fast
and the undeniable biological urge to live
is all consuming. in a haze,
i tear apart the filmy silver painted wrong-color,
grab handful after handful
and swallow whatever power i thought i had.
tomorrow the scale will break in my bathroom
and i will run for hours; collapse wrong side up
and lay there till i can see again,
till i can sit up again,
till my hands stop shaking
for more of what i have banished.
this is the way of the woman
who’s been drowned.
i throw up sea salt bent over,
toothbrush in hand.