/>after Mystery of Love by Sufjan Stevens
these days everything inside me feels newborn and peeling
i am trying to imagine all the ways you will break me
i will break myself
trying to be cut from all my younger memories
how many loves do i allow myself?
how many times can i kiss under april snowfall
open up my oxymoron of a muscle to foreign fingertips
pull back vein like leaking summer fruit,
crumble cartilage under your tongue
my head is full of crescendos
and i want nothing more than to have all my skin on yours
emerge frizzed hair and chapped lip into sunlight
your hand as much mine as any other part of me
i catch myself lying on the floor, your shirt an oxygen mask
i catch myself whispering you things i should write instead
leaking my giddy pulse with each step and for once not planning
burning all my blueprints
ash like first flowers or snowflakes or dead skin
my lips anywhere there is wipe clean
and I wake In the garden, you beside me the entire world
midbloom, I told you every time you left I wanted to say that I loved you
broke your face into fragments of color with my fingers and I do not know
what love is except we are running at sunset suburbia salt stricken
streaming off our bodies and I can hear the orchestra!
We are talking about how the earth doesn’t belong to us
the implication being we may have to bury ourselves in one another
and darling look how alive we are, how it agitates the soil every
blooming thing a proclamation!
Your hands are everywhere I know to be my own and I have forgotten the word
for what we sing to the dead what we do when we have stopped our chaotic burial
but what is heaven if not rendering mind from body and everything I know to be mine
in yours and everything you have ever been is caught in the coils of my hair let me
find myself lost in the fringes of your childhood
let you recollect on all my memories and when you wake
I will be beside you, in the garden, the entire world midbloom.
Nesha Ruther is a poet hailing from Takoma Park Maryland. She was a member of the 2015 DC Youth Slam Team and a 2016 Young Arts winner in spoken word. She’s a recipient of the 2016 Larry Neal Writing Award and Missouri Western State University’s moRe prize (which was judged by Nikki Giovanni). She has had her writing published in Beltway Poetry Quarterly, the Mochila Review and Angles online magazine. She was part of the National Education Association’s 2017 “Do You Hear Us” Campaign. She currently attends the University of Wisconsin Madison as part of the tenth cohort of First Wave. She is studying English, Gender & Women’s Studies, and Jewish Studies.