Sealed with a Kiss

Reaching out for

vacancy, to push away

the shadows that crawl

out from the purple

bruises on her skin, concealing

her in night's underwater

orchestra of color and

blindness. She is hidden

in the hollow space

between her lungs

carefully folded up and

tucked away—a love

letter never sent. Now

she is gutted, her chest

torn open with her madly

beating heart exposed

to the frost of empty

air: the envelope. Listen

for the words, the address;

it is scrawled across

her back, there's no

return. She'll always keep

it locked away. The ghost

of his hand is in her

ribcage, squeezing her heart

for ink; pressing it—a rose

falling apart between

his fingers and the

paper—into compact

form, letters between

her lungs. Despite

her clawing she cannot

escape the feeling of

this phantom inside. The cut

is up through her neck

but the blood stays blue

and black, splashing across

her pallor and becoming

part of the shadows that

wrap around her, drag her

under the surface. The sea

holds her screams, hides

her tears as they crawl

into her mouth, stick in

her throat. Her desperate

hands find warmth behind

her, arms around her to

hold her chest back

together until she can

stitch, zip it up again. Whispers

she barely hears above

the roar and pounding of

the waves are slowly

growing louder in her ear.

The nightmare doesn't

adhere to him, it slides

right off—he's brushing

it off her too. Still

the darkness lingers

and she cannot help

her fear of bleeding

out, in her bed;

the nightmare has held

a good siege, felled her

walls, broken her

chains, collapsed her

bones—it's just

a night, one night,

he can break

the seal.