take my heart

how long was it

between when you saw the land

and when you decided you owned it

i always wanted to ask the colonizers of this place

but they are long gone

and their grand and great babies have swallowed most of the glory

our kings self-made or blood lucky

each breath a belonging

only some get golden lungs


by the time this part of earth recovers

i’ll be ash sinking in salt water

but right now you are merely gray

the crime still fresh enough to shock

there was warm bread on the table when you moved in

that first night you slept in your uniform on top of her sheets, intimate though you’d only seen clenching fists as they dragged her away

did that feel victorious


perhaps the most efficient colonization only stains the fingertips

i see your prints now, in the wild

wherever the people are called monsters

where their shadows are drawn with fangs

where their faith is dismissed as madness

it took me forever to learn

there are only ever humans, in each skin

and we’ll do anything to survive

even wail thank god as our world collapses

grief means someone still knows the truth

only tears will wash these hands


but back to you

when did you finally step barefoot on the dirt

feel the pulse in her

the root in you


when did your heart get involved

too late, like mine?

i grieve for strangers piece by piece

thank you for showing me

what a lesser evil does to children

i see now, if you believe in monsters

you become one


i ask as a creature of earth

a winged whale singing wordless spells

but as you lean in close to answer

i cry out

someone take my heart

wrap it in white for naivety

see, in the blood, a prayer for safety

an offering to an angel

all we know will become dust


my therapist says i feel too much

i look at her, in danger

knowing she’s right