would you like to see
where I really keep
this is going to have at least
on the side of your face
that you give the most
whatever leaks out
is the benefit of your
and what you call insanity.
you tell me that it’s not because I’m pretty,
bring me cloves and fire-toned candy
in envelopes of parenthetical trimming,
you crack a word open and stuff it
with what you’d rather be,
“like a car crash”,
what you’d rather hear from me,
and when you get to the river’s edge,
no more somber than honey
in the hair of a battery,
you think you’ve seen the only
coral pink ledge
that I lead men
off in agony.
you hold your little damp torch
up to the reeds
that kiss your aching feet
and you tell them about me.
you tell them I’ve lost my teeth.
you tell them about the madness
that makes me soft underneath.
you tell them that I’m not as gold
as the sun you thought was my home.
they listen because they already know;
I am not the way I make you feel.
I do not come and go
to the ebb and flow
of your cowardice or your hope;
I am angry in a language you cannot read,
I am bold in a way you cannot appease,
I am smoky like a fire you cannot
contain with the refrain
of your fingers trying to find me.
now, lay your head down by the reeds,