You Are Me

December 9, 2022

Graphic by Caroline Clark

Every night I take a different part of me
and slowly peel it off, draping it across your body
on the canvas of our shared cot.

You shiver a bit,
your lips blue, your wrinkles
fracture on the sides of your eyes.

I lie next to you,
My raw, red muscle bare to the elements. Ice
closes my mouth shut,
my teeth start to mold into one another.

I sleep so that we can weep
together in the morning.
You will hold me,
my skin in your hands;
I put one arm in and the other,
giving me back to myself in an eternal favor.

I love you
for it. Give me to me,
for you have nothing to give yourself.

Every morning you brush your hair,
my lashes as the bristles of your comb. Spit my blood
into the sink-swishing mouthwash,
toothbrush in the holder,
carved out of my femur
by your (my) hands.

Middle-income job,
you spout words. I mutter
above the boiling hot soup of my flesh.
Adjust my tongue-tie; so
you are never tongue-tied.

In dinner, I plop an eyeball.
Sleep, I see you
draped in my skin. Say what
I want. Everything and
nothing at all.
You are me. ■

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