Abscission

One

And as you watched me
break apart
one wing of mine
you took with you,
so I’d never forget
that I once flew.

Two

Cast me away
into Patagonian rivers
so that like salmon,
each strand of my being
can learn to swim upstream
and shed your grey
in the stillness of azure.

Three

We sit silently at the table,
peeling onions.

It does not take long
for the sulfonic acid
to irritate
our exposed tear ducts;

the brittle outer scales
to poke and dig
at blackened flesh.

But as each translucent layer
falls to the ground,
so too
do our voices
shed their hardened shells,

until finally,

there is nothing left to peel.

Four

They finally arrived,
those words of yours that set me free.

And for the first time in four years,
I awake to the realisation
of just how small a space
you now occupy in my heart.

For those words that once crucified
now slide as assuredly down my back
as freshwater finds its way to sea.

And while my feet still bleed
from your jagged coral,

I now know
that so long as I brave
the rapids of your displeasure,
I will find a way;

finally find a way to return home to me.

Five

We sit in the park,
staring at the pink-blue sky that carries news of rain;
the joggers doing laps around the oval;
the dogs chasing each other’s tails.
We stare at all these things and anything but each other.
This is a silence five years in the hardening,
yet my hurt? –
 has not stopped pounding
and my heart? –
has not stopped screaming.

I
, Sagittarian take aim, while
you, Cancerian emotionally guard.

Sorry does not come easy.
I run my fingers through the dead, yellowed grass,
pulling and snapping its hollowed stem.
I don’t want to be angry anymore –
– I don’t want us to be this way

Sorry does not come easy.
But YOU are the one who says it this time.
Cathartic oxygen,
my heart breathes you in;
pink-blue pain thaws
as your arms lap around;
steady fingers chase away
the very last hurtguards.
We stare at all these things and each other.

This
is a forgiveness five years in the softening.
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