today i knelt still at the silent shrine of bent skeletons
and bared a shoulder for those withered to the marrow.
i graduated the shrill chaos of the big-boned and plastic for this.
the nights when my baggy skin stretches
heavy and wet with winter,
your fingers carefully guide my neck back around the altar
and i furl willingly in sleep.
but in the mornings you scrape
these vertebrae too against
the lifeless frames of the mourned
and mourning. you strip me gently to the bone,
wearing my hide in arrogant victory.
today i waited for a new skin to cup my collarbone,
for the cling of freshly absolved fingers at my chest.
my shoulders resigned with the loss
sagging like a widow's
and the slippery covers of the uncaring corpses
lay mangled on the floor
staring with shame at our naked bodies.
i kept my torso placid as the lights went out and the door clicked shut.