Two winters ago you took me outside into the falling snow
and showed me how to chip away the ice on my windshield
so that I could see again.
Like everything else, you made it into an art,
taking each piece away with your callused hands
as though you were removing the delicate cerulean shell of a Robin's egg.
You would take those same roughened fingertips
and run them along the notches of my spine,
and the bones at my sides that curled together to form a cage around my lungs.
You did it gently, but with purpose, like a man
laying down bricks and mortar, preparing to build a home.
And you built foundations inside of me like sand castles.
You didn't anticipate the oceans in my eyes -
the way my pain would crash onto me, like choppy waters coming to shore in waves.
Or maybe you didn't care.
And you left images upon me, like a trail of bread crumbs.
Little blots of blues and greens that clung to your fingers after painting
appeared in shades like the hues of a fading bruise on my body,
staining my skin like tea on teeth.
You put mountain tops on my shoulder blades,
and sprawling forests against the swells of my thighs,
and you made me into a masterpiece.
You made me into something pretty enough to be loved,
but paint washes away like everything else.
And waves always return to shore.
And my hands were always soft as silk,
because I never saw the point of building something that would fall apart in the end.
I liked the way snowflakes caught in my eyelashes.
I loved the feel of the bitter winter wind, because I was born in the summertime,
and the sun was a reminder of everything I never wanted,
but the sunrise made you feel alive in a way I never could.
You always told me you could build a house from the ground up,
but if the wooden supports got rotted through, there was no hope for saving.
When I found pins pushed underneath your fingernails,
you said it was less painful than loving me.