Not, I’ll not kiss your lionlimb, not lap back the rattle in my ribs
like a lone pill going to powder
in an orange plastic bottle. Not, no not sing anymore of the wretch
and wrestle. No more ministers
to drive words through my wrists and leave me for the patient circles
of scavengers. No. You didn’t kill me.
Not because, some days—yes—I wished for it but chose a different
courage. I stopped asking the mirror
for a dream and opening it like a door. I wished to welcome back
feeling, that whole mansion of trembling
rooms, wished to break every window, let the light storm through.
On my knees I wished for tempest,
for rack and screw. I asked for churchless pleasures to disturb my numb comfort, wanted lick and wallow,
wished to swallow the laugh out of my child’s mouth, and—my God—
wished for even the shame of an apple.
Now my wishes are down to two: Staying alive. And wanting to.