In a college dorm, in a prison, in a marriage
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I felt you should know how often I’ve thought
about you. Before I’m fully awake,
whenever I’m alone. Once I taught
myself to stop the spiral down, to take
hold by gazing in the mirror, to stare,
but now my breasts recall your mouth,
my neck blooms red from kisses beneath my hair,
none of my longing listens to the truth.
The truth. That I can’t have you
even one confusing night, surprise
us both with who we are and aren’t, skew
fantasy with flesh, tempt power.
Already we’ve made love with just our eyes,
why am I left alone in this strange fire?
Understanding, silent, they stand near.
Their patience is our shield. Beyond desire
their touch steadies us, and where fear
would make us turn they guide our feet, fire
like an emptiness burning them to love.
See how they shape what we call heart to will?
A will that sought, brings balance, though we move
in pain. These angels are not ours, and yet they fill
the absence we imagine with remembered light.
Stephen, could I close my gates to you?
You hold the only other key. True sight
reveals these angels all around us, who
wear the eyes of animals, of children, and
who help us, as they must, to make this stand.