My Vivid Imagination Paints You, Instead, Grey

Your breath in the morning—sour milk like a baby we knew would never happen
but dreamt library cards and the grandparents our parents would be;
the knobs of your wrists, handles

for the brushed steel you couldn’t get on or off without me
dangling almost feminine wide enough for me to return instead of sell
when it fell behind the bathroom door (you didn’t notice).

I had no other way to say goodbye.

Whenever we did, there were your fingers—each taking its own time to release my back,
hip, the hem of my top to vices that would transfer whatever seemed right
into something better; as forbidden—and the crinkling skin between your eyebrows
lines for, maybe of, telling.

Except we erased each story to make room for cheaper metaphors.

I still chase the mutinous curls attempting a clean getaway from your shot at taming,
meandering down your neck from one of the bands I found, later,
between the couch cushions; gather your pieces yet the puzzle is no less complicated.
We never gave why any credit; the wolf of our longing
prickly and insistent sand between our wet toes.

Suddenly I miss you like you’re dead.

darlene anita scott is a poet and visual artist whose work explores the corporeality of trauma and silence. Her poetry has appeared in Quiddity, Baltimore, Review, and J Journal among others. She lives and teaches in Virginia.

You can see more of her work in issues 4.4 and in 3.3.