I'd forgotten what it's like to tumble
unceremoniously to the ground, arms tied,
not a call for rescue in my throat.
You asked me to jump into the lake.
Doing so, this time of year, despite the absence
of ice, would send shockwaves through my body.
Maybe that's what you wanted,
maybe that's why I've put myself here,
an evergreen among dead branches,
keeping distance from you.
Or maybe it's the other way around.
You are surviving and keeping warm,
and I am reduced to nothing.
I recall a past voice,
reminding that no one can read my mind
yet I wonder how you couldn't have seen,
or heard, the ways I've laid my soul bare.
Perhaps I wasn't harsh enough,
a reflection too timid;
perhaps, I was afraid of the layers
you'd eventually know.
I don't want to feel this need to
explain myself, anymore.
To tell you how a part of this outburst,
this lick of rage,
is from my identity - encasing itself
around me, asphyxiating, then
surrendering mile by mile
as I adorn this body with a new name,
internally and silently,
as I feel the urge to descale this skin
less and less, at least understanding
why my body shifts like an avalanche,
why I can't feed it with warmth and
why it needs to be advocated for.
I wish I could live without a body of
memories influencing my choices,
striking fear like a match in the hope
that I tread cautiously and don't damage
the roots we were supposed to share.
I am partly heartbroken, tonight,
for the voice I should have used,
for the branches I could have collected
and dried, as a final offering,
for the colors I could have painted more of
when you refused to meet my gaze.