Palms

I,
not quite so naked now
can absorb the tears of others
like grains of rice in the salt shaker
and use them to wet my brushes
as I paint my own contentment
in twenty shades of yellow
on the canvas of your palms.

Oh,
I will scratch behind your ears
and you can roll at my feet,
belly up and soft as river silt
but you will always be just a pet.

Last night I dragged my mattress into my front yard
and slept with the stars a roof above my head
a sure sign that I am getting lost.

When I am gone,
build a ladder with my bones
and climb up to the moon
then carve my name into its side
and leave it there so I can be a part of night
forever.

I am not so good at wanting;
I only ever want the things
that never want me back;
and you made the fatal mistake
of telling me that I
am beautiful,
and watched my blush spread
like a drop of blood in a bowl of milk.

How could you be so dumb.

I tried for you, you know.
You can't know how rare that is.
But I am tired now,
can't you taste it on my lips?
Soon you will slouch away,
head down, tail between your legs.
I hope you don't hurt too much
when I am done pretending.

I am selfish, I know.

Playing house like I've known how all along
but I must admit
that as a child,
I was never one to play with dolls.
I always got bored too quickly.

Don't worry,
I will keep your heart safe
in a jar beside my bed
line it up with the others,
a collection I keep
because I can never have my own back.
Soon,
I will sew them up
and mail them back
and go back to living in my hourglass,
isolated and patient
comfortably pointless
painting my own contentment
in twenty shades of yellow
on the canvas of my
very
own
palms.





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