All the bone chalk clouds I’ve ever seen, so far
to reach, untouched; all the sad stories
not mine to soothe, all the times in trouble
and guilty, all the breaths stolen
by lost first times and songs that haunt; all the grasping
for nothing, the clinging to familiar faces and not quite
homes; all that lies and lives
spread at my small feet, stretching out of bounds so far I can
only know it’s there; all the rocking back and forth,
all the screaming that tore
at my throat; all of the monsters in my bed, the ghosts moaning
inside my head; all the shaking and not knowing, the breaking and still holding:
all the mean words stung
harsher than the late summer hornet
I had feared, that surprised me one night
in a backseat darkness, aching hot on my thigh
like fallen embers worn by stone.