She smiles, open handed,
swallowing the blood
(before it wells between her teeth)
until she chokes,
gurgles bare apologies;
eyes so wide and terrified
to blink away the tears,
lest they fall—
it's just another dead giveaway
that she's anything but dead.

But her smile never falters,
fingers never clench,
inviting you in again
to ignore her so lovingly
like you always thought she wanted—
she cares too much to contradict
but never enough to leave.

You're just in love with flaws
she never meant to show you
as your hands wandered, lingered
in all the wrong places
underneath her shallow skin;
she knew better than to trust in
sanity, rationality,
everything you offered her
when she was too selfish not to take,
break you down
into all the little pieces she sees inside your bones.

Her lungs are brimming over
with crimson wax so sticky as to
pool in cooling ribbons behind her tongues,
to halt its harried dance of
syllables and soliloquy
before she says something unregretable;
it's so much harder to speak without oxygen
hitchhiking through her bloodstream,
bubbling up at lips so solemn,
so beautifully mundane.

So she signs away in silence,
digital gymnastics desperately disordered,
until her finger break and
fall to pieces in her mouth
like all those childhood dreams she tried to save,
tried to lap up into safety but they
cut her gums instead—
the tang was so much sweeter then.

And now she drowns,
sweet intoxication ebbing into emptiness
between that universe she always wanted
and the one you gave her all wrapped up
in pretty Christmas paper,
but she doesn't blame you,
never has, never will.

And now she drowns.