envy (for my mother)

she puts a needle-sharp word to my tendon
and my wrist twitches. a few carefully aimed
stabs and i am moving not of my own accord.
she knows how to throw the acid of guilt over
my musculature to make me do what she wants,
how to twist bone just to the point of snapping
how to make me smile and nod, smile and nod
how, at this point, i yearn for strings,
just because it wouldn’t be so painful.

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to exist in the moment between the opening and closing of an eye–

not even breath will save you now, we drown in azure lightness
with honeycomb hearts that crumple at the slightest touch.
i have been here. i have been here before, at this place where
i am alone with myself and insane. my arms are starlit scars
that open again and again like mouths that will not shut up,
and the flesh of my abdomen swells with infection that i carry
as close to me as a baby, something i refuse to give up, for
without it, there is no meaning left in the lover’s touch so
soft against my face that pulls you in like a black hole–
you look at me and you are already doomed. there are teeth
that grind bone to powder here and lies as big as universes,
memory that has gone to ash but you can still wake and feel
the grit of it on your tongue. i was never more trapped than
when they said i could go. i was never more afraid than when
i had to name myself, explain myself for what i was and what
i had done. for how do you explain nothing, nothing, nothing.