TW: BODY IMAGERY, POTENTIAL RELIGIOUS TRAUMA, BLOOD
end the year screaming, start the next in silence.
time had been stretching so long it finally snapped.
no clean break. tongue got cruel and shriveled with
regret. we’re not here now we’re stuck in the could-be’s.
hit your head going up, not coming down. unspool
the truth and take care not to let it drop. stitch
your tongue back in with something resembling
regret. a mirror image of what you can’t stand.
pull the heart out with force. sit yourself down
and listen. this fight is against you and the you
that you hate. i mean it’s all the same thing.
the truth is as good as a lie in the right hands,
and all hands are the right hands at some point or
another. the truth gets stuck between your teeth. your
gums get sore trying to work it out. your tongue is
still tied up in a different truth, from a different time.
there is no time but this single second, and
the next, and the next, and the next, and the end.
there is no end not leading to a new beginning.
this year is a door swinging open, avoiding [ ].
the things i want want me,
but i do not want them back
as we begin, you and i, my tongue stretches
across a lie i will spend the rest of my life
trying to crawl my way out of. i can’t say
this with any certainty, and yet i am sure
of its truth; self-fulfilling. i strip myself
into thin slices, little more than a bite a day.
devour my own and name it flesh. as i
step into his life, i step out of my own
i find a way, momentarily, to free myself
of the burden of self, this severing what i’d
been seeking my whole life leading up. you
can pick apart a body with words if you’re
not careful, not just teeth. i will spend the rest
of our time—that is, my time with you,
the time in which i became we—chasing
the elation of my unburdening. never again
will i find it. this, too, is self-fulfilling. i
bend myself back beneath his watchful
gaze. stretch myself into a body of love,
a body of desire, just for him. but he
desired truth. i found my tongue
incapable of delivering it to him.
i desire perfection in the form of
my body. i find myself incapable
of stretching so far. i find myself
dancing the play of the past, the
self i created just for him. such a
precious lie, i could have lived in
forever, had i ever learned how to hold
my tongue. i hold for myself a light,
now dimmed, once born bright from
his words, his caring sight long since
left wandering. he holds no desire
for memory, only single, present
moments, another thing i find
myself incapable of giving to him.
i find myself lacking. i find him
impossible. i find us fracturing
through no fault but our own.
i find us possessed by the love
we once wished to hold. to love,
to possess. i am possessed only
by myself and the pasts i am tied
to. tethered only to the here i am in
never to the here i could have found.
hold me down. tie me to you. i repent;
our truths unwoven, our lives untouching;
the weight of regret grows ever heavier between us
i do not kneel. except in worship of my own
false god; a man i do not know. a boy i wish
to know. to be loved. to be possessed by
the cycle here is intrinsic and well known
well worn, beaten down, just as i
no, the man i do not know does not
beat me. the boy i wish to know does
not carry hurt within his body or mine
but all the men i’ve known have beaten
me well. they drew from my body until
i was rendered empty, an echo of weighted
silence. there is no pain in an empty body
but the pain of the emptying echoes
through the body endlessly. a memory
rung again, again. wrung through
empty hands, no chance of saving
there is no blood in a body drained
but the drainage of blood remains
thick clot between legs; a life never
lived, never breathed. small clump
of a body, not a body if it never held life.
there are no leaks to be stopped, only
chances to be taken by those better known
than i, my small life held in the hands
of those who know more than i will ever
forget. would you believe me if i told you
what it is i'm talking about, these lips slick
with liquid copper. or would you close your eyes
to the truth of my young body, laid bare
and forgotten as the life left from
between my legs, holding blood
slick mess, no trace of life
no wells to be drawn, no
shortage of stoppages
to be filled
BEE LB is an array of letters, bound to impulse; a writer creating delicate connections. they have been published in Crooked Arrow Press, Badlung Press, and opia mag, among others. they spend much of their time performing autopsies on themself through writing, and can be found posting excerpts of their poems on instagram @twinbrights.