You say it, with a bitter taste
in your mouth—a chip on your shoulder
as if you’ve never held an infant in your arms
and watched the blood pulsate through
the top of the skull, still forming.
As if you’ve never peeled the eyelid
up of a friend and seen blackness
where there once was light.
You say it, smirking as if it’s an insult
to melt and melt again
when the words, “We’re losing him,”
scroll across the phone;
when tears flow unbidden
armed with plastic bags
in a room that will no longer be slept in.
You say it, as if you’ve never
woken to wonder outside your door,
believed in magic, angels
carved into coldness,
or opened your mouth
waiting for ice to melt
on your warm, pink tongue.
By Eija Sumner