Men are always tackling things.
I don't understand how they crush
bones for the touchdown, break
ribs for the goal. I've never stolen
a base, or dove into the spectators
for the win. Some men keep score
by the number of concussions
they can survive, with
black eyes and bruised collarbones;
all for the trophy. Me,
I've never fallen for
the sport of it, or ruined joints
out of spite for the referee.
I am on the sidelines, watching them
disable themselves, body part
by body part.
For the locker room boasting.
For the dance of their coaches'
approvals. They don't accept
comas or wheelchairs. Cannot
imagine titanium screws, not
until they become them
with only 10 seconds left before
Half the time, I am wishing
I could be their cheerleader;
naive and wanting nothing
more than to be Captain. A girl
who stands high on that pyramid;
no fear of falling.
* * *
People say about premature babies
what they do of shark attacks:
it's highly unlikely you will live.
Except when you do.
One of us is a Survivor
and the otheran Inspiration!
Cheer for one, then cry
for the other.
Both born out of fear
* * *
I am not telling the truth.
It is far easier to tell of
the way a heart feels
when scraped over
a bedroom radiator as it clanks
against the freezing air
than to admit
I turn your collarbone into life raft.
Your promises into pebbles
to become what grounds you, so you never have to feel
I am not one to go turning my jaw into clay for your fingertips;
grow my hair out for
I didn't let
the camera catch me smiling, barely
showed my teeth
When winter invaded, you made sure my ears were ready for
Falling in love with you is the avalanche that keeps
You are frozen into every cell.
How can I write about the way I blush steady at
your pulsing. How
can I scream of buckling?
the door key
you never returned.
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