Photograph by Nick Coates

I want to lay with you

I want your ear pressed up to my chest

counting the rests between my heartbeat

the quiet is where you come in

I want to play with your hair

I want to trace my nails down your back

do not confuse this with lust

I want to retrace my steps to old lovers and rip my kiss from their tongue

grab scalpel

extract every time they’ve said my name

this does not belong to you

tear my love from each of their ribs

cracked open to show rings like old trees chopped down

every kind word spoken was never made for them

they were constructed for you but I needed a target to practice

and I had time to kill

almost like

this feels right to say so I’m going to say it

but it is white when it should be silver

it is empty

it is spending money I don’t have and I am so in debt

crawling over my little pieces to pick up these bits for you

I may not have been whole for months

but I’ve found the strength to put myself back together in the expanses of sunsets

and coffee shops and rainy days when I could sleep in

I pulled my bruised peach skin back together

tucked my bones back into place

tied my shoelaces

put on my lipstick

I’ll grace the bend by your shoulder with the tips of each pull me closer finger

trace your neck where your skin meets your hair line

I will wait

I will not move

until I feel you feel it too

look at you like the world has ended and you’re the last setting sun

pull you in

— — —

pull you in

if we kissed I’d wake up from the bad dream

heart pounding

palms sweaty

I don’t know where I am but

it’s like meeting god