We don’t talk about our dark days.
Of all earth’s lush night plant life,
you choose to call the girl with
war in her mouth
and bullets for dialect
by a flower’s name.
I am your love language
with petals for scars
and sprouts for self healing skin,
I come to you fragrant,
and in bloom,
a little vain,
We don’t dig into the fear.
My mother still speaks your name with
gas in her mouth like the initial
to a warzone.
With her hand to her mouth,
she has whispered and admitted that beside her name,
is the name of a man she has plucked
the moon for.
Of all the things she has taught me,
I am yet to learn how to tuck a man’s
name beneath my tongue
as an apology for wearing a man’s heart
on my chest like armament.
I am the war she talks about.
She still pulls lullabies out of her belly
and songs of the labour.
She should have told you that girls
that dwell in her belly come
out mumbling a dialect of how to be held
with both hands.
In subtle ways,
I have tried to channel my grief
into sections of your skin
that rise and fall with the way night
allows you to mention my name
and raised walls.
I watch my youth outgrow your hands
in poorly timed intervals and
in that moment,
I am that receding turmoil of a war-torn city square
slowly healing its soldiers’ wounds.
These nights are getting typical.
Let me be a harmless lover.
I can only be that once,
and I’ll bring my darkness first.