To cherish and hold, wrap my arms around your warm shoulders, cradle your head to my shoulder, caress your hair shhhhh
Hold you to my chest,

Angry words. thorns and bristles. stinging stones. They will only irritate but never penetrate my skin

Child, I love you, and I mean you and only you, every you, whenever you, whole and true, pieces and all. I will bend down and pick up every piece and sweep the glass dust

Even though you’ll never be whole again I will put you together—all of this does not lessen me or weaken me or exhaust me

Play and pick at my insecurities
That is the price I pay to cry and laugh freely
I gladly pay



Girl, Burning

She saw her own figure dancing in the flames

Arms raised behind her head, elbows pointed to the sky

Chin slowly pulled by the Devil’s string

She arched as if time didn’t exist.

Her forearms gentle suspended, resting in gravity

She raises them as one would course their limbs through water, heavy

But here there is nothing but air:

Who would have known that which gave life consumes it that much quicker?


She peers closer to see her own eyes gouged by the flames, pouring out the cavities like magicians’ scarves.

She touches her own cheeks and feels no wet, just flushed heat, her throat

Closing smoke curling, rising.

She touches her throat and longing for sound, opens her mouth but

Instead, a billow of ash vomits forth, her ribs heave and pushes out the sooty air

She touches her breast and closes her eyes; she holds herself and the Devil

calls her name LOOK AT ME!

She watches her own dancing figure in the flames

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