Knell

— Sara Luisa Kirk

You’re right, this desire isn’t beautiful, nothing about it
except for the shape, its familiarity, and this impulse
to give it a name as if naming might make it
more livable if only for a fraction of breath.

I see the blue of morning begin to glow
around the curtains and I rid myself of arms
not because they’re yours
but because of what they’re capable of holding.

Yes, tenderness is alive in the world
though none of it matches whatever’s still lodged here
in this nervous system, the bell that only seems to find
its tongue when there’s another body here to ring it—

when diminished… when diminished…

Better than this can only come after this,
which is to say we require an ending.


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