past tense

on days like this, we peel body mass

like a rooted prayer &

when we sink our elbows into

the other’s mouth we are sure

water becomes accustomed to memory

like skin against eyelash —

you ask if there is a gap in your chest

and i tear through mine in response.

draped & pared.

once you told me words carry no meaning

but that what is coated beneath

our nails do.

i ask what is underneath yours

and you reply with a hymn.


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