Speak Kind (Bear No Teeth)

i’d almost forgotten the incline of your spine
raising toward the sky,
a place where you and i
would share secrets til morning come.
i’d lay me down and soon succumb.
it was easy then when i was young.

(you can taste) the skin of another.
(you can taste) the scorn of your mother.
(but lick gentle) the hand that feeds you.
(speak kind) to the woman who needs you.
(bear no teeth) lest blood be spilt.
(unwashed earth) is where flowers wilt.

i’d almost forgotten what loneliness was like:
cold side of the bed,
your echo in my head,
heart clenched tight and dull porch light.
i’ll lay me down til you come home.
it was easy then to be alone.

--Marissa B., Adult