by Marisa Siegel

1. For You

You exist in ink. But this was promise
Finally, my silence. A strange kind of redemption
But I will never be strong enough for
All that I can’t know to protect from
What I’ve tied up in you and what you were.

Pilgrimage for a disciple cannot
Rebuild that road and thusly wanders.

I am plagued.

2. And You

You exist, but I have left you be.
It is purposeful, to keep you tangled and safe.
Late at night, staring up at a painting, forms
A couch, a catch. For that once,
Holy conversation, when you asked if you could.
I will not separate you out
Or mention forgiveness.

We know that I pretend, you and I
Have seen the howling bottoms of it.

3. But You

You exist in my bones. How many versions we’ve created
Convenient mirrors to distract. How I’ve grown
Used to your inhabitance. How I’ve used you.

You do not deserve this company I allow
You to keep. But a poor arbiter I remain
Indoctrinated not fully but full with an echo
Off of a tinny roof and summer rain.
Cure the nightmare,

I am waiting.