In order to be the one you love –
I have to remember another city
its empty streets – gnawing,
the impressions of a bra, etched across my back.
another route back home, a pack of Marlboros,
our respective anxieties sitting in the sockets of our eyes.
I let your sadness rest inside me
I give it shape and roll it out into
palatable mounds of
pretty words and prettier glances.
You watch with a fire in your eyes and
I’ll walk with my ass up, tits out,
and maybe you’ll learn to love me the way you love your mother.
Another land, another language,
pizza dough on your lips,
stench of raw meat on your breath – I tell you it doesn’t matter
When I think of you, I think of hugs wrapping themselves like
a grip around my wrist – impressions of hands that don’t quit.
I wrench it away;
I want to tell you that it isn’t enough.
Don’t make the same mistakes my parents did
My mother, with her herbal medicines and her spite
My father with his sullen silences and heavy machinery tools,
I can’t see too much, but I see
We slip away quietly, no sound, not a whimper, not even a nod of acknowledgement.
Your eyes burn with fire but it isn’t enough.
I can’t be with you, you say –
I am not with me yet.
All image credit/copyright: Anna Parkart