He’s not the first to tell you you’re beautiful,
because apparently 9.25 ounces of wriggling, writhing ventricles
is something akin
He’s the first to tell you he’ll stay.
You’re smarter this time, braver,
so you tell him of the black hole between your lungs.
“I don’t know how to talk to people,” you say.
He looks at you like you’re the shackle
and he’s the victim of a drowning accident.
“It doesn’t matter,” he tells you, but it does,
and you spend the next four months waiting for him to leave.
(You thank him for staying.
The words taste like the prayers your father says at night
before curling round your mother’s body.
He loved you like an EMP.
Shatter at his feet.
Make him bleed.)
He makes you feel like you’re bursting.
Once you mention the magnitude of space,
and you think there are worlds nestled in the notches of his spine
but then he says something sensible—
and you spend the rest of the night
biting your tongue.
You taste like time.
You have the sensibility not to speak.
He leaves you like you’re the thing coming from a woman’s uterus,
purple and wrinkled and atrocious.
You scream his name.
You are the noose round a deadman’s neck.
You cry in the shower, on the shoulders of strangers.
There is this: 18 years, you’ve forgotten what it is
to say goodbye
with your heart still lodged between your empty spaces.
Little girl, don’t you know you are made of stardust?
You are mad, impossible, the tick-tick
of a cosmic time bomb.
You are not his astronaut.
He is not your spaceship.
Rip those veins open and let those constellations bleed.