MY AFTERMATH

You’re tattooed on my ribs like a promise that never found its way to lips

My hands recognize your ridges on bus benches and bony tree branches

in the middle of winter

You’re still just as cold as the frozen air

But here’s the plot twist:

I’m smiling in snow storms 

Twirling my hair around fingertips

I don’t shiver or wake up in the night

when the moon is my only light

My brother doesn’t check in on me anymore

only to tell me about sunsets and shooting stars

I can finally see maps as opportunities 

and power lines as more than broken hearts 

I would like to say that I hope you’re somewhere beaming and warming your skin 

in the prescnece of some sort of euphoria

But my momma taught me to never tell a lie

So I hope you’re doing well, really I do

I hope your ribs remind you of me each time you breathe

and that words fold into poetry as they come out of her mouth

puddling you into a sea of my rhymes

I hope heartbeats make you cough 

When you’re standing under city lights, eyelids are heavy

and I hope strangers make you nervous because I’m not there to tell you their story

I hope you’re still smiling

that time cripples your fingers when you’re dialing her number

knowing that I’m sleeping soundly 

Miles away

I hope you’ve adjusted to not being tucked in by the moon

or not getting kicked in the face when my eyes are tied shut with dreams

I’m sure her truths are beautiful, I hope she loves you-

I hope her gun has a trigger warning

because I know you’ve still got a bullet hole where I punched my pride out of you 

took it home with me

left your gaps 

my sticky notes in hand, you cannot keep my favorite things or the secrets I planted for you

Goodnight my one time soul dancer,

disaster lover

You didn’t make me your disaster

There’s storm in my wounds

And you never guessed 

you would be my aftermath