“You Here/You Gone,” A.K. Jackson

by MP

Rage is a craving.
It stretches for my body when it is still enough
to feel for you. Fills my bloodstream
with bits of broken starfish, dead flowers,
anything. My mouth is acid hot
and full of grit.

G holds grudges:
he builds walls between him and whoever
crosses him, takes the things his blood
gives him and piles them tall and wide––
broken dolls, china plates, brain coral
and rusty nails. He ties strings to them.
He packs them with mud. He loves
his wall.

N says that you can’t stop loving, must love
despite the grit, despite the feeling that your heart
is star water. Turns hate against his hate to kill it.
Would love you despite the feeling of bile
building at the sound of your name.

In between them, I am building my wall of vomited
thoughts, stacking things you did
like a fruit stand apple pyramid. But I stand behind it
with my arms open, my heart a praying child.
It kneels beside its bed at night and whispers:
please do it. Please break through the wall.

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