This Time Around… Reply

This Time Around
 
I am thinking about rain,
My reflection warped in the droplets
Stuck to my window,
Tiny head and huge hands,
Bulging heavy
And then as soon as I take a breath,
Moving downward quickly.
 
This time, it is Sunday,
Clear and blue and cold
As gravel.
The boy is pretending there is snow
Outside,
Putting his tiny red mittens on,
Gathering snow balls of nothing
And throwing them at me
 
This time,
My veins bulge from the
Backs of my hands,
Blue and soft,
Dividing the skin
Into dragonfly wings.
I tuck my fingertips into fists
And squeeze, squeeze
I am not angry, just cold.
 
It is happening again,
The shaking,
The fingertips like marble,
Head heavy upon granite,
I am watching the emptiness
Spread again,
The sky too blue
And the trees too black.
It is January again,
It is happening again.
 
This time, again,
I am just huge hands
And a tiny head,
Heavy upon glass.
This time, again,
I am falling.
~JEM

This Time Around 

This time around I will say:
I love you.
 
I will say, I love you to the living–
to my parents, grandmothers, cousins, nieces, nephews,
 
friends. To those  I love fiercely and gently. I will not be afraid
of the words I did not say to Brother, until
 
he was on hospital bed, his body, just a body of skin, bone, Bullet, and chest split
open revealing all that heart, a good man’s muscle. And to the right of heart,
 
his children tattooed, two smiling inked faces.
All that was left to witness
 
my words of love.
My testimony of love is here.
 
In memory of holding your rough hand, until your organs failed. All that waiting
we did during that somber night, that turned harsh as the sun rose
 
into daylight, into an unescapable reality.
This time around I say: I love you
 
to those who have passed on–
grandfathers, uncles, cousins, friends
 
and to Brother. This time, I tell myself, I will not be afraid
of those three words.

~CL
 
 
 This Time Around  
 
This time around I’ll be smarter, braver, better,
she mouthed this mantra in the mirror. Daily reminders
about love,
 
the type of love she is looking for. One day
it will find her, but she has got to stick to her rules
this time:
 
Avoid the man who calls you beautiful.
Especially if he doesn’t know you. Without knowing you, he could never know
that around this type of love,
yearning for connection – you are weak.
 
There’s a darkness that fills the empty spaces between veinsAnd maybe that desire for soul
mates, for intimacy, for
love doesn’t just course through
your veins but causes them to overflow.
 
So, be particularly weary if he tells you –
you have a beautiful body.
 
Darling, take this as your warning. You know
he’s all wrong for you. You know he’s really just drawn
in to that part of you he knows he can break when he whispers
those three words You are beautiful
he has every intention of ruining the beauty you want to keep safe.

~TW

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