he wants to hold the wounded animal but is told
don’t touch it, its mother won’t take it back
she slept in the dusty hollow of his throat
a riven sleep, sundered by nebulous memories
dream-fragments of words spoken and suspended
in the air before them, like a crystalized promise
what is past is gone, their mothers tell them to
forget. how does one forget the flow of blood
beneath skin, the way a rabbit freezes in the shine
of the flashlight, the blood trail left behind.
he wants to hold her in his arms but is told
don’t touch her, her mother won’t take her back
there are no clean escapes. the door is left open,
hinges noisy like children, or the lid to the jewelry
box is askew. the key necklace is missing, one
glass earring lies among the scarves heaped on
the floor. sometimes there is blood on the lip
of the bathroom sink, a broken pencil on the table
where someone had been pressing too hard. as if
to say, i am sorry things turned out like this.
everyone will tell you it will be okay, these things can
be replaced but you will know that nothing will be
the same. you will wake up in the mornings and feel
afraid, unable to get out of bed for fear of finding
fingerprints on the window, evidence that someone
has been there. touching these things that you know
someone else has touched, these things now too dear
to part with, is like skimming flames with fingertips.
but still, you burn what is written. who writes notes
anyway, when there is nothing left to say.