The Punishment of One Is the Love Song of Another

Jennifer Militello

At last, I have found my assassin. At last,

I have struck gold. When my past hissed

with cobras, you let me sleep. When

I was falling, you brought the ground closer

and made gravity of flowers like a kiss.

One body moving is a seduction. One body

is a practiced leap and a parachute

unsprung. Only the scalpel knows the passion

of blood. We soothe it with cold and sing it

to sleep. We leap at the chance to be blistered.

We listen and stiffen. We pivot and reap.

My rib cage could be a wasp nest built

of paper. My hand could be the slip of sand

across itself to slake the great unknown.

Snow coughs along the windows now

and listens differently to the pure. Snow

brocades like cotton. Prayers, like burdens, go.


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