resin wings

It wasn’t just that I was leaving,
(For the 2:40 bus. For reasons thick in the air.
For reasons that lived beneath the house.
Forever this time.)

It wasn’t just that he said it,
(It was the way he said it.
Standing in the doorway, his mouth a thin
clothesline, eyes like two bloodless sunsets
drying nothing.)

It wasn’t that I didn’t say it back,
(Couldn’t soothe him one last time.
Wasn’t that girl anymore. Had a bus to catch.
Away, away.)

It wasn’t that I didn’t,
(Though I had stopped breathing his name.
Stopped worshipping his mouth.
Didn’t know I still had years
of sweat dreaming his voice.)

It was the way he knew
I would not say it
(Knew I hated him for his weakness.
Knew his heart disgusted me. Knew I had caught
a butterfly only to rub it with my hands.
Remove the resin.
Leave it winged and without flight.)

—  Clementine von Radics, July 2011