You occupy me in all the ways cliché.
Meeting me at the four corners of my heart
where the veins turn purple with love,
and in each chamber lay lines of poems unedited,
raw, as they sail across the sea of my soul.
I let you live in places unknown to words:
dirt in fingernails, pus in blemishes waiting to ripen.
You pick up your dirty baggage, and rest it against
the door that separates the differences between us.
There’s no heater in the home of my ribcage.
Yet, you lounge on goose bumps that clutter my skin,
clustered in settlement patterns I once memorized
for something that didn’t matter.
You were ready to leave.
And finally, when the sun finds its will to warm my depression,
you slide off the ridges of my skin and swim in freckles
that my mother gifts me every Christmas.
You count them as if in the next round of travels
your few favorite places would be gone,
littered with mental bruises that manifest themselves
in paper cuts so small, they lack motivation to fill with blood.
Under my skin you wait for elements to expose you,
emotion gushing rivers uncontained. Pain puts you on a raft
and sends you down my legs to meet the floor with routine grace.
I press these places closed and you appear, needle and thread,
sketching a cloud across my open wound.
Later, you’ll live in my laugh
as I try to recognize how many ways the shape of the scab
could be pressed into the shape of my heart.