(I wrote us in free verse over every inch
of your tattered surface ).
you were the beatific grin
of a kindergartener high off oxygen,
mouth stretched wide as the entrance to hell,
black tongue bleeding virtuous sin like ichor.
(You taught me praying was for the weak
as I fell for your gypsum nails,
white teeth scrabbling over my chalkboard frame).
scribbled flesh tells no love story
but three layers of skin
worn thin along the length of our feverish bones.
(Garden flowers tucked away worms and dirt,
my ribs hoarded misspellings of my mother's name).
dipping your origami limbs into my ink,
you lost yourself within the dark tangles
of my labyrinth roots. Like a child,
you twisted my path
until you found a home-
staking claim to my clavicle.
(Your mid-morning coffee still rests
on my kitchen table, stale and smirking.
There's a note on the counter.
My name is not Stephanie.)