I have left our country, closed
the border gate behind me,
and thrown the key back over.
Except the country was an open city,
from which I was repeatedly banished,
and asked not to leave,
and the key was a small house
with a garden. Or a handful
of solid acts – letters, trips
to distant cities, your love for other men –
fogged by intention. I spent a set of seasons
writing it on myself, but now the story slowly
leaches from my skin, episodes blurring
into each other, small constellations
colliding. I still make out phrases
in the webbing of my fingers,
but even in bright sunlight I am unsure.
A woman long on her own journey
pauses, pulls her tangled hair aside,
and through my cloudy skin,
listens to what I cannot hear,
the muddy murmur of my heart.
She’s no expert, and I didn’t ask,
but she thinks it’s innocent.