& you take love!
& you press it to the skin of your chest
till it's screwed up
like that face that you make
when you're thinking of them.
& you hold it there
like stone smoked in the water of oceans,
bathed in the hot blood of your body,
enveloped in masks
of all the blank looks that you get
when you try to explain what you're feeling,
as if this love that you clutch
could turn into some distantly remembered tumor
throbbing purple across your rib cage
just screaming, "don't fuck with me,
i've seen your kind before
& i'm not having any of it!"
but it's not there,
you have no badge of your misfortune
save for the one that lingers
ghostlike in the palm of your eyes,
milky & fogged over
like the meadows of your youth
that, though they now seem
like such elegantly retreating strangers,
soothe you still to walk again
the path that takes you towards
another person's waiting arms...