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so many doors you wedged to find me

first sex to first love to shared home

(to left on my own)

you made me feel newly desirable and powerful.


no longer tentative with every early creak,

i danced to your bomba drum

while, slowly, over our years

your fingers spanned my chest     gripped its grooves


yanked my heart apart.


you freed me from my fairy tales.


i had to collect the far-flung glints of my aorta

alone.     they pierced every toe, every finger.

my blood was glue for every angry shard.


but this, too, was a gift:

i learned that one only grieves

to the depth of one’s love.

(later i would learn that a heart

wrenching open     repeatedly

is what teaches it to be strong.)



do you now know how to caress a lover’s soul?

are you, too, visited by our children’s ghosts?