by Enna Horn

Something shaped like you spilled its secrets on the kitchen table,
             black coffee from a white mug.
It talked of how you left your body behind to get out of your own way;
   body, as canvas, as void; not enough for one side or another,
   & you sit on the picket fence & all you get are bruises.
Stared with its hollowed spirit-sockets, osmanthus orange on its mouth,
           it bled, peach-juice, jam smeared on its ribs.
A full breakfast, a rotten feast — it exchanged its secrets for stories:
I’m sorry about the mess,
   I’m sorry I’m staring at the flower in your chest,
     I’m sorry that I couldn’t grow out of the dirt in the backyard.

You never took your coffee black. You never owned a white mug.
Something shaped like you bursts open beneath the skies,
             white moon from a black hole.
It talked of how you left your body behind to float in the clouds;
   so you would no longer have to sleep inside the cold of yourself,
   & you wander amongst the stars & all you get are bite marks.
Gazed with its full rabbit-eyes, azalea crimson on its eyelids,
           it ran, wheat-meadow, paint smeared on its chest.
An endless chase, a brutal hunt — it exchanged its fleeing for falling:
There is nothing up here,
   There is nothing out there,
     There is nothing to be done about any of it.

You were afraid of heights. You were allergic to rabbits.
Something shaped like you curled within a vacant knothole,
             orange flower from a red heart.
It talked of how you left your body behind to seek out peace;
   silence stopped being the answer on a night you can’t remember,
   & you lie in the bed of pine needles & all you get are blisters.
Blinked with its softened water-caves, shadow grey on its temples,
           it wept, dove-feather, tar smeared on its stomach.
A floating cradle, a restless slumber — it exchanged its anguish for amends:
I think that we did all we could,
   I think that you don’t have to worry anymore,
     I think that I’m going to leave you with what I couldn’t say.

You should have been the poet. You should have told them everything.

Enna Horn is an author and polyglot currently living in midwestern America. They have work to be published in Typeslash, Ayaskala, Brave Voices, Paper Milk, Alternate Route, and others. If they aren’t lurking at their desk working on their next project, they can be found haunting the woods outside. Sometimes, they can be observed on their Twitter @inkhallowed.

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