A birthday poem

We wipe black blood on our breasts when it rushes back from our feet. Forgotten oxygen meets heavy footsteps—sunken soil and moistness with the squelch of muddy memories that keep us on our toes.

We sink our teeth into the mess of men that meander all around like weeds and say i’ll go when all we’ve asked for is a bloom, a breath, a brand of caring foreign to the tips of our scorched tongues.

As unique and tepid as the puddles on the deck we dip our lips into; just skin at first, then lick and suck an inky ring our lungs break through and shimmer into lonesome surface bubbles, reminding cells that life is near and death is strong.

I eat my truths with wine and crackers, sip your lies over our broken bread. The salty, stale ridges make my mouth grooves rawer with each bite, and dented windowpanes make civil moments feel like war when all I've waged is something closer to a folklore.

And now I've left my worries on their own too long; they're getting antsy. Here I am, please let me in, remind me why I've itched that spot so long; remember, I'm still tender, you're too strong.