my swollen tongue–
scarred from biting, now
gorging with old pus
i’ve grown acquainted to it,
the taste of blood fermenting away
leaving the illusion of a
sterile alcohol rinse
one day my mouth will lyse
and turn kisses stale,
then you’ll leave me
We stood together with our faces pointed towards the sky. You spoke of your grandmother’s house–– of cicada songs and distant laughing, a gentle summer’s breeze and glassy evenings. I imagined a smaller version of you, one with pale lemon hair and missing glasses, running through a long field of overgrown grass. You disappeared in the horizon where the trees met the earth. My eyes then open to the moon, and I followed its light to your face. Your irises reflected the same hue of gray, and your face has grown more angular, more certain in its direction. In that moment, I figured I had known you for longer than 4 years. The scar on your cheek still shines a bit, and the odd curvature of your spine makes it to where my back fit snugly. Your hair around the chin shows more burgundy than brown, and your slight lisp cradles your teeth the way we’ve held hands–– innately and sometimes shyly.
I clutch the string, no longer taut from pulling but tangled in a knot.
sunlight flickered past leaves, projecting
a kaleidoscopic green upon my eyelids.
the road bent through the mountains,
swallowing cars into its peaks and
lulling its children to sleep.
the landslides grew distant as the
pavement thumped to the rhythm of a heart.
a distant echo of the archipelago was
etched into valleys as rice terraces,
and the gods loomed where the clouds
scraped the grass.
to this day the ground whispers of
brown feet adorned with beads and shackles,
of tongues that have tasted tinola and blood.
but the crater was never filled up
with concrete for a parking lot
because what’s left of you still
glitters bright upon the earth
better than any tar and asphalt.
and we collect you from in between
cracks in the soil, our fingers
clinging to memories of your
your brilliant mind.
our skin has renewed in the year since–
the wounds have scabbed over, peeling away.
we are all in some amount bigger,
our hearts accustomed to heaviness,
but you linger still in the wrinkles
of our palms and of our laughter.
each gentle word a testament to you,
we breathe continuously of your love.
dedicated to Alainee. your words still echo here.
like nettles pressed from beneath skin,
the hardening scab itches profusely.
cracks of soft pink flesh peer between
tectonic plates of scarring.
a slow metamorphosis, the gentle
pulsing of wings through a cocoon.
but the hands i let massage numbing
ointment into my scars have dug through veins.
i watch with empty eyes his careful
disassembly of my chest cavity
as if the pain was a routine blood drawing
and allowed nothing more than a wince.
my organs were then sterilized and
sutured and cauterized haphazardly in
a vain attempt at reparation.
weak and deformed, the flesh trembles
at the gentlest breeze.
the dawn peers over the horizon,
beginning its burning of mist
in a glow tinted orange.
orange like the salt lamp upon
the bedpost, a candlelight vigil
drenched by deep blue sheets and
sea foam irises.
the lovers’ flesh fused overnight,
harboring dewy eyelids and fresh
pulses of the heart. a finger
traces across the gully of a chest.
inseparable as the sun kisses
the horizon’s other shoulder.
a palpable summer, superimposed
on an ashy cumulonimbus looming above
the horizon, scraping away at a glassy
menagerie of towers.
the sun eats at the white bloom. hot
rays licked, glazing skin to a
lukewarm red. we bask in its
consumption on a blanket of grass.
the earth untangles, sprawling towards
the sky. petrichor beckons for a balmy shower.