The Other Night, Dear

You are aware that I

love you? And that there

is no grace in this world?

That the rosaries I’ve

counted felt slippery and

smooth? That my tongue

twisted and stuttered under

the pressure of the words

in my mouth? That my

mouth sometimes thinks

of you, your skin, the possible

taste of you, makes my tongue

ache like I’ve drunk scalding

tea, sucked the pulp, fleshy

and tart, from lemons? You

are aware that I have

slept amongst lake pebbles,

felt them press patterns down

my skin, because I think

that penance will save me?

That I believe in penance,

though I cannot name my sins,

except in ways that I have

broken myself open across

you? That the shape of

your skull, the lines of you,

fill my sleep and that in

dreams, I find you always

amongst the dead, in the

tunnels, but know your

bones, the way they feel

in my hands? You are

aware that when I dream

you gone, I wake up screaming,

gasping for breath as if,

again, I have learned to

drown, only whilst

swimming in sleep?


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