For holding some of those nights
closer than anything, closer than things I cherish.
For the bottle of Heaven Hill smashed
to a foot of rock salt outside the stony apartment.
For the singing of your broken teeth in the sink.
For the anger that sleepwalks through the house
and smashes a plate on the kitchen wall
next to the stove light and your cowering head.
For the size 13 bootprints on your ribcage,
the crushed blackberry we both wore under our skin.
For not wanting to dance with you like her.
For the Christmas-time abortion, and the preachers
and their wrinkled spitting mouths, and all the snow
and the three-hundred sixty-four dollars
cash you carried home in the dark in your swollen fist.
It’s just that the crotch, the blood, the animal
incisors in me know what it takes to survive.
For that fatal jugular love I let from myself
night after night as if I didn’t need any.
For your hands, the places I can still feel them.
By Mary Alice MacDonald
Mary Alice MacDonald is a poet living in Raleigh, North Carolina. She graduated from the University of Louisville but has presently ghosted academia and has no idea what to do in life but write. Her work can most recently be found in Rust + Moth.
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