asylum
a sonnet, jan 2022

The scent of your skin is wilful suspension

of the disbelief in a peace of our shade.

Not like the wafting of expensive linen

or a tongue tingling with sour lemonade—

Such peace, ivory like the back of my teeth

and an eyeball rolling up toward the gates

of Heaven, was never ours to sow or reap;

leaks from my lungs whenever I see you glue

your lips shut to keep the lions asleep.

We are given white across our ribs, to soothe

a heart shivering the way do broken birds.

I cannot reach inside to brace it, but you

lift a teabag from the box as if it were

an offering, ask “Would you like another?”