my reticence, little witch boy, my backing up and off. your tiny body made of collarbones and aching. my disappear and reappear. it’s for you, because I know I’m stronger in your head.

to wet my lips with the tongue of the woman you imagine me to be is to be a woman who knows exactly what she’s doing. it calms my nerves to make you nervous. five strides into a crowded room, my hand your neck the wall. 

if I keep you begging and guessing and at arm’s length, you will not know how afraid I am, how uncertain, how lazy and distracted. you will not know how much I hate myself for my lack of follow-through. yes, I’m telling you, but: actions, words. 

instead: to build some little corner of the world inside your body where I am utterly in control, where my hand holds the needle and the hand of time. where I can point at something and say yes, this is good, or no, that is not, and the way you lower your eyes when you look at me bears more weight than all the thousands of things I am always failing to do. 

open up your skin and show me what’s inside. I, too, am always bleeding, often and everywhere and improperly cleaned, even if I’m being figurative. I want to taste someone else like pennies and tensed limbs. Some strange climate where these parts of me rise to the top, slough off the others, grow over me with a crown of bones.