I used to be gold

I used to be gold

I used to be gold. First prize
collarbones, atomic number
79.

I think of our bodies unhinging.
Dismantling a masterpiece we
worked so hard to build with
creased hands. A workshop of
cracking spines to straighten out
the way we would slouch.

Maintenance was: drilling openings
inside each others joints, stitching
ligaments, embroidering our hopes
beneath surfaces in cryptic codes
unseen.

When I arrived I was sun. Already
sweltering inside your pores,
glazing skin in honey residue.
My promises rinsed over in drizzling
rain, marinating your bones, flooding,
breaking into the current network
of your nerves.

Often, all I have are promises.

It starts with a loud rumbling noise
from the inside out, a vicious clap of
thunder rendering breathing patterns
defenceless. An expansion of pressure
that is too close for comfort.

When I think of slipped disks,
they remind me of those stepping stones
we crossed towards the Colosseum
we had in our minds.

We hung expectations from our shoulders.

Self depreciation is a gale force wind
who knocks once, twice, strikes fragility
down with her fury—ungluing the grip
beneath my feet, begging that I get familiar
with my knees.

She says, “You’re going to have to look at
them up close if you want to learn how to assess damage.”

When I unzipped my ribcage I saw those
impressions that you’d left on my heart,
ransacked awareness told me you’d been
here, moulding yourself between my
ventricles.

Last night I set a fire,
and watched as it burn the end
of the rope that I’d been holding
to keep you
close.

– Lauren Flynn

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