love poem: dezireé

Photo by Amusan on

by dezireé a. brown

issue 70

You touch / yourself / in the mirror
name / each scar with
chewed / hands

             It is time / to tell you the story
             of our revival / of how this
             body / became our own

You fell in love / with a hitman
who / groomed you
for silence

             and he rewarded / your blue-lipped
             fervor / your ache / to be anyone
             but / yourself

Here: suns rattling / in
waistband / a message / from
ancestors — our men learn

             to see our mouth / as a garden 
             of weeds / ignoring the lilies / sour
             faced with cracked / mirror-eyes

Here: skin full / of unswept
glass / and peach / fish
teem near / a riverbed

              near the mountain / where you pulled
              a sword / from your chest
              to protect him

and he used / it to impale
you / and your river turned
its face / from the blood

                          remember / the bears’ teeth
                          and how dirt / knew our
                          skin / by name / 

But here: your arms / are thick /
maroon / embroidered
in carpal / glistening

                          as you drain / the sick
                          from this river / your chest
                          a beached / rose            blooming