And although I am a poet, I am not the bullet;
I will not heat-search the soft points.
I am not the coroner who will graze her hand
over naked knees. Who will swish her fingers
in the mouth. Who will flip the body over, her eye a hook
fishing for government-issued lead.
I am not the sidewalk, which is unsurprised
as another cheek scrapes harsh against it.
Although I too enjoy soft palms on me;
enjoy when he rests on my body with a hard breath;
I have clasped
this man inside me and released him again and again,
listening to him die thousands of little deaths.
What is a good metaphor for a woman who loves in a time like this?
I am no scalpel or high thread count sheet. Not a gavel, or hand-painted teacup.
I am neither nor romanced by the streetlamp nor candlelight;
my hands are not an iron, but look, they’re hot, look
how I place them in love on his skin
and am still able to unwrinkle his spine.