In the Long Ago

In the Long Ago

What do you call a scab

That covers the entirety

Of your skin—

The organ that takes

The brunt when everything

Goes well, when everything

Goes to shit—

If the crusted layer

Is another person that left you

The glistening pink underneath—

Nourishing the wound so that it never heals,

Infectious in its zeal to remain wide open—

Deep enough to burn

With the passing breeze

That told us when fall

Was here and night,

Our accomplice,

Allowed us to use her body as a costume

To trick the passersby

And treat those that

Wanted to see if

Whether what they

Were seeing was actually

Happening, victims of peeling layers,

As the diseased cells, no matter how hard

They got, how attached to the skin,

They scarred into something new—

Not better than the soft it ripped—

Uglier but enjoyable,

Recognizable and permanent,

Harder to conceal what we couldn’t contain:

What we shouldn’t have started,

What we should’ve known better,

What we couldn’t continue,

What we couldn’t end,

When our sex was supposed

To be nothing more than fucking

But ended up being more than you wanted,

And not enough of what I needed?

What if that rough protective mange—

The lesions life teaches you with—

Of dead blood dirt,

Clinging onto roots buried

Deeper than sinew and bone,

Was also your heart?  




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Upstate, it takes a very particular kind of bond to make us unafraid to whisper about who we are, and all the things we’ve done.


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