Rope & Leash: A Poem

I fell from your cold arms

Right into the ashes that

Escaped your sleeves, right

Into the valley of your legs,

And I tried to define love then

And there, I lost everything but

The air in my crouched body,

I sought language and looked at your

Mouth, waiting for a sound, for

A word to collide, a word to twist,

To raise expectation, that I could

Call mine, amidst these ashes that

Were now mine, your scent still on

My skin.

You handed me a rope and a leash,

They felt the same to me, time being

Exasperated, killed, slowly or abruptly,

You squeezed me tightly, and I started

Wondering, what am I doing here, you

Wanted yourself repeated, endlessly,

Echoed and copied, against the rhythm

Of my own heartbeat, you didn’t care,

You wanted me to listen and internalize you,

Eternalise you, drown myself in my own skin,

Cold like yours, the warm ancestry of the world,

Beating, drumming, within our bodies,

Holding on to our vocal cords, pulling,

Dissatisfied, death came too early, unwilling

To give up their power amongst the living.

Photo by Flora Westbrook on

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