we used to suffocate together—
used to build each other up and then
carefully slide bones out
until the other collapsed.
a year later, without you,
i play with our ghosts.
the doctors call me names.
you haunt me—
but i am the first prayer
on your morning breath.
I remind you that I’ve bitten too many ankles
to have people chasing after me anymore.
You say experiences heal—and I know this—
but I’m a rotten mold of meat and tight knees.
There are cavities falling out of my ears
because the chill of the silence between
our words, and it’s enough to pull teeth.
You are spun sugar on the cheeks of
heartbroken mothers holding limp
babes with rotten-promise fingers.
I am the kitchen counter, infested
with old cow’s blood and crusted salt.
You’ll lean against me at night, gorging
on a guilty snack.