Love Song for Leaving


Snow blows against my window.
I almost tell the man that sleeps against me
I love you
though I have sworn I would not
again.  That I would only say
what guts him.  Scale
what starts to shine.  But he is shuddering
in his sleep.  He is crying out.  In the morning
he says he was eaten
by a man who looked like him,
though bigger,
meaner, and full
of heat.

I start to tell him about the place
that makes this better,
but it is carnivorous.  It is fat.
I have touched it
and curled back.
Called it and sent it back.
Yet in that place snow lifts
absence from our bodies onto the street,
and the wet mouth of winter
opens and opens
against our own.

But then I am scared too—
I dreamt of a girl
tying a shawl around the snow.
She was so red
and then so blue.  Nothing sparks
in the way it is promised.  It's okay.
It's okay, I tell him.  There is nothing
here that will swallow you,
will lick at your slick wet heart.
No tick head
to work from the body.
No small thing
that will make in you a home.  
Copyright © 1999-2017 Juked