to you


breathe out.

i need a language with more

synonyms for love
 that do not strike my ears

like a slap or a secondhand


but mold around me like a cast on fractured

it is not that we needed to be put
 back together,

it is that
 we needed to learn
 what healing is,

how to hold someone close,

how to lift our hands again in surrender,

how our valleys show us to savor lavender in our lungs

when we were too weary
 to reach the summit.

i need language with no

for fear because

i  have all the lists of what paralyzes us,

and there is no manual

that can teach us how to take those first steps—

we begin again because we are chasing

and we carry

only antonyms of fear on our tongues,

shouts like the sun on our cheeks,

smiles we have hidden since we discovered

how a priceless courage
 could cost so little
 and so much—

waterfalls sweep us up

and drown us out.

i want a language of

words that do not exist
 except in the way

i feel their absence,

with no title or author,

but if we ever find this place between,

turn the first page where
 i dedicated in the old words

this new poetry to you.


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