When Hugging, Remember This

in this trembling ribcage body,
hollowed of patience & plucked
of light, i bleed blue for the
ground keeping us afloat. earth’s

scorching core our punishment.
we are the offspring of silence, of
martyred freedom. my hand accepts
the touch & i know that all of it is

a lie. in my palms, you lay your soft
skin & clutch a string of pressed flesh
close. my chest responds in windstorms
& waves puttering against shore. our

plates, tectonic. my lips taunt a shift
over the edge, down the
archipelago of laughter & bones
etched with love sonnets. forgotten

and forgotten. who knows the
sound of love? if i had it memorized,
we would be a single star shot away
from the heat. radiance of bodies

packed by the fire & ready for the
touch. it’s magic to hear the sound &
to shy away from its breath. i
embrace you, your wrinkled shirt

against mine. the salt water
dampens our skin, but we don’t care.
perhaps we can evade death. maybe
this is the feeling lost over the edge

of splitting fissures. but here, it has
found a way into the space between
atoms. the muffled beat of two hearts
against a removable barrier. the fear

of descent fading from sight the way
a footprint eludes sand under a wave.
only, i look into your eyes and let
the impact, pulsing still on the shrill

of receding tide & goosebumps, find
a way into my heart.

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