EP: Iron By Elizabeth Acevedo

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.

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