By Valentina Thompson

Heart and fist and silence: swollen. And the way she bites her lip like us as a concept she’d never say aloud and, loud, I hear the warnings in waves crashing near a coast I cannot reach for I am out and under a body of water—she is the water—and on the day we met she told me she doesn’t know how to swim and I told her neither do I yet somehow I feel a lot like the only one drowning and yet this is the way I like to not breathe and this is the way love never doesn’t work out because out the door it doesn’t work and out the door it breaks hands in public and out the door we forget each other’s eyes like a sight everyone else would immediately see as if she were standing in a closet in the middle of fourth street

or as if she would choose me
or maybe the boy really does hold her heart or her body only rises under my touch as a monument to the ones who came before her, maybe I over her is equivalent to a mind of four beers or to a heart too ingrown to ever text first or collecting voicemails like quiet love letters; empty inbox. Or it is dressing winter in sun or tying shoelaces together at a bus stop or chasing night. Or evading days. Or writing about confession booths or tangling God with her name or letting my hair grow out since the first time I cut it or only ever choosing to worship something that has never once believed in me.

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