Raise a flag, cast a glance,

and it’s all over now.




It was me. I triggered the mechanism

that cut off my own hands.




When I had the chance,

I should have kissed her

with conviction.


Should’ve slipped her poems

on folded paper,

the sweat from my palm

still lingering on the creases.


Should’ve bought her flowers

or some similarly obscene gesture.


Or left vivid lipstick prints

in the soft angle of her breast.




If I’d known that was a singular moment,

I would have devoured her –


no question,

no hesitation blooming

like a tumor.


A fish-eye gaze on that basement room,

the only two people in existence.




Even though your ignorance was not permission,

your silence not a gesture inside,

I smuggled her heart for a little while.


And your heart may burn with love for her,

but my touch left her scorched through the skin

so deeply the marks cannot be washed away.


Sarah Marchant

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