Untouched girls have the softest lips
No dew given and none desired
Full of wish
they twine the world as loveless gypsies
with hands held wide in offertory

There are girls who befriend it, the fog.
Harbor small hopes until truth comes
Rather than mark time, they curl in its mantle
The cold fuzz of numb

Some stiffen under its bulk and pray for discovery-
Hand-picked. Indigo with wait
They line up
unrealized paper dolls.

That brash faith
Those graceless feelings need a place
They slip inside without asking
and peel tiny tender fibers from bruises
which haven’t yet had the sense to heal

Better to tuck them away
Divided their power diminishes

An apt word, it speaks of distance
And void. Of space not being filled
Of being roundly discarded
Useless, forgot. A floating speck

What good is a speck?
Perhaps it furnishes time, or perhaps
It holds important particles together
If the speck wasn’t there
then what?

Stinging wind speaks the truth
Chill, layers down in flesh
sears the heart out of you like
silk caught on nails

There are rules
People like us are not allowed to clasp such beauty
That frail bloom of love
finespun in symmetry and easily fractured
A reciprocal is missing

When people love they make sacrifices
Give things. Small (time)
And large (time)
I don’t know that I have much to offer.
My tender is me (broken corners)
A nascent ability to relish that person
(long swathes and small scraps) with

Gulps of understanding
the allegiant burning of forgiveness, weathering
raw elbows and disappointments-
collapsed expectations
But, being there.

Sometimes I am not so lucky.
Go missing
And what is left to offer?
Not I

Not I.

Winter quiets and discoveries
may not weather the spring and summer light
Sun is harsh and illuminates logic
(a fatal fiend)
Fealty supports yesterday but
what holds tomorrow

Fire brings honesty in pain and
cold surfaces honesty in earnest
Cold tells me I persist in vanity
Cold tells me I am paining myself with hope

There are girls who learn to develop more than breasts
must, really
Learn to point at me and say I
Learn to point at you and say you
I is I and You is You
There can be a difference. A boundary.

I is capable of admiration and fear
Of defense
Of allowing inside
Of laboring affection

I is laid out
But not always seen.

You is separate
But needn’t always be.

Secreted away
I am sometimes surprised to find my heart
I’ve hidden it where it is rarely discovered

Books swallow it in shadow, pressed letters
a closed cover
In the shaded bells of violets
all sturdy delicacy and
spiteful of the spring rains
it waits

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