I remember the braided scar on
your left shoulder
where a wing could have grown.
the way you would retreat
behind the trenches of your bedsheets
before the hail of tears tracked your cheeks.
the snails on the pavement
never did make it,
their shells cracked like bookspines
under our hurrying feet.
like a flowering atlas
your hands trailed the course of my spine
where the sadness lay heavy.
in summer we filled up mason jars
with each promise of forever
And set them swinging in the backyard dusk
under the great oak tree.
and like the paper wings
of the migrating butterflies
we will one day become the same dust
as the earth in which we grew –
now the flowers in your ribcage grow
the way your body refused to.
in the moonlight you once told me that
you loved me,
now in the moonlight I never sleep.
the poems on bathroom stalls
reek of calamity,
but I can never find you beneath the tiles –
as we drive,
the sunlight halving you
glistens on the tally marks etched into your skin
a reminder of our numbered days –
each night the planets pull the tide from shore
and me from sleep.
the sky is a deep hue,
I climb the dusty rungs out of myself –
I am rising like embers towards you.
we dug through withered soil until
your roots climbed up my windpipe like ivy.
until the wings sprouted from your shoulders
for the first time