to a comforter

You may tell me you love me

That at least is true

Though better for you if you didn’t.

But don’t tell me I’m beautiful as I am

Or whole or worthy

Your lips are too well formed. Don’t hollow them.

Your saying is nothing but winded wishes

They can’t reach the clawing ache

The raven hunched easy on my skull

He laughs at your—positivity

You cannot save me with feathered brushes

Fight for me demon fire with sun’s glory,

Whispered blackness with the

Sharp, molten haven of

stained glass striving

paint or sing or scream me out

but don’t mouth frail nothings or

expect tossed opinions to rescue me.

A drowning man needs

The strong arm of

A savior who has leapt into the waves.

Even if he fights the rescuing pull

He needs no affirmations when stark self-sight

Invades his lungs shriller than self-help’s brazen whine.

Grant me then this mercy,

Of a blade at need and a bandage in time—

For black truth is brighter than paper dreams.

If I must cling to the storm to find its Master

Do not tear at my failing grip.

His saying will make me whole

His hand will bind the heart I lost to him

Hold me then until that time

And give comfort that fires in my ribs

And surges, even if acid, through my veins.

I ask you this only.

Don’t tell me I’m beautiful as I am

As you love me,

Tell me of coming visions.


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