LEAVING THE LAND OF THE DEAD by Tawni Waters

Do I dare bleed these words
without cauterizing them first, 
peel back my skin
until what lies within
a splintered bone of pain
juts from the core of me
stabbing that swollen moon?

A sack of abandoned faith

sits on my dresser 
next to the photo of you.
Your fire died,
and still I lie under a sagging sky 
willing 
your eyes to materialize.
I am in love 
with the wraith
of a memory.

My warrior wanders

the edges of my dreams
his steel gaze sawing 
through the bars of my ribcage.  
He purses his mouth like a question
always asking, “Yes or no?”
Cold in my bed, 
I pray for you, and
instead he 
comes to me
with tender hands
until I finally see
he was always 
the one.

“Yes.”  I breathe,

letting the blade of his desire
cut me.
The steps I take toward him
are the closest I have come 
to dancing
since you gutted me 
with your song.
I long to sleep always
with the answer of me
curled into the warm 
question mark
of his body.

Again and again,

I have shuffled through men
like a deck of cards
wanting one to match you,
but he has stilled my hands
by being something truer 
than that
a pure animal spirit 
apart 
from them

or you.

Three times now,

I have soaked
in the soft under his hard,
probing his skin 
until his secrets surfaced 
in the fluttering of his breath.
His last kiss
drew a “yes” from my bones.  
You are my memory.
He is my now.

The door opens.

Abandoning a vow

I made to a man
who never saw me,
I walk toward 
my warrior,
kneel to drink
from the cool pool
of his dreams,
hungry

to taste his tongue.

His mouth has become my mercy.
His marrow has swallowed my bones.

 

Advertisements