this is why

Annette O'Neil

hold on.
i keep you
like muscle to bone;
like words in a language i knew
and spoke once, fluently, but now my sentences strain;
like an ache nursed in some deep bone,
twinged by bad weather;
the far-off
smell of

holding —
this keeping —
is unmuscular —
a branch that grows over a rope;
like the footprint of fortissimous sound on soft ears,
or a song that keeps repeating,
or a falling dream
as i drift

the press of
this accustomed weight
hanging in-between my breathbeats;
swelling and contracting like a tide that carves my shore
and somehow, the shore holds the sea
even when the sand
feels naked;
the moon,

Annette O'Neil

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