ashes to ashes

take special care not to wound me, lover,
for I bleed only shadows and ghosts
and those are stains that just won’t come out
no matter how often you scrub them with time
I can roll up my sleeves and display my scars for you
but the stories they tell are mine to keep
for your acceptance, I am sure, only reaches so far
if you knew how many blades have grazed my skin
and all the reasons I didn’t turn away from those steel kisses
I think names like beautiful, and normal, and good
and phrases like I need you, I love you, I miss you
would fall away from your lips, set themselves aflame
and land in ashes on the pavement, unrecognizable
and I think if I were to stand with you
to watch the edges of that love twist and char and smoke,


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