And now I understand the depths
to which a woman must sink, must
dig herself into, must push past with hand
and foot, hip and breast. It is not light I seek
but solidness. Not spring air soft against
my cheek, but the scalding touch of lava
forced for so long to be silent and still
now worming through a cracked
and weeping crust. It seeks explosions
because affection must be dramatic.
But the sky will not love it
as thoroughly as I do.
And now I understand the impossible
permanence of night-lit words.
They linger in the valley between my wrist
and fingers; stow themselves in my freckles.
I cannot erase their presence, ignore
their weight -- only hope for a lover
who will burn away your shape.
But I understand hope to be a fickle
and most unfortunate friend.
And now I understand: your fingers
printing their shadow into my spine meant
you are mine – the wanton gathering
of flesh and vein at the center of body;
you are no more than a moment
I chose to waste.