The Functions of Grammar

He holds me tightly in his hand like a suspended comma,

a low-humming pause loose in midair that he doesn’t want escaping

into the folds of his sheets, creased and twisted into knots

that measure the distance between self awareness and self sacrifice,

before the alarm goes off and I’m scared to remember what we said yesterday.

I won’t move until he asks me to go; he never does and our bodies become

laser cut outs; incisions with fingertips softly pricking towards the core,

carving away the light around our bodies until we lie still

beside blackened pulsating shapes and remember: we are ourselves.

It’s after he’s learned the circumference of every hollow circle within me,

I decide I want to become the parentheses

that holds together the loose ends of everything that’s coming–for him.

So I open my arms wide and murmur “I love you, baby”

while I cradle our expectations in the spaces beneath my eyelids

and light up that image of us sitting outside wondering: where is this going?

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