His skin blazed with stories of survival
after loss. He was young, gallantly bold, bright
as late-summer showers spreading their final
joy through woods and dying fields. He offered light
affection, butterflies stroking my scars;
I laughed, uncurled, sought in his fabled arms
freedom from an agony so bizarre
that every memory coiled and hissed with harm.

After, as I passed your clouded door, I tried
replotting this twisted tale within my brain –
he, as new-told hero, slaughters snakes, while I
dance in a frenzy of sunspots.
                                             Hard rain
drummed my skin, narrating a kinked tattoo:
He isn't you, he isn't you, he isn't you.



Tracey S. Rosenberg