my cheekbone is tender from lying
on concrete, lying
in shallow wounds
not lying.

I can’t offer you a smile
from across a room
can’t lie at the feet of your emptiness
and offer myself as food
for I am too large and too far
and too good at not lying
and I wish
for a moment
that I wasn’t.

and my hair is darker now
and the smiles, when they come
are different
but I see it
clear as a skeleton wearing skin
I see your clouds
and I sit beneath a shallow lake
and watch for rain.


it’s a big thing
and big things like this require
a certain amount
of gentleness

that isn’t hard for me
I can be gentle
in fact
I can be so gentle
with the things that I am holding
they don’t even know
they’re being held

so the question isn’t
can I do it
can I hold this thing
this monumental thing
can I hold it gently
and right?
of course I can

the question is
will it know?
will it feel my touch
my hands on its skin
its thick leathery indestructible
fragile delicate breakable skin
and will it break
with or without my touch?
my gentleness?
my anything?
with or without knowing
it was ever being held
ever being held by me
at all?