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sgail Feb 16
to keep
a soul
in its harbor

love hard

sgail Feb 11
when I walk around I see
it oozing out of everyone

a need. they are dying

incredible and luscious and
in you I found it.

With you I can put the ooze back into

so their eyes will brighten back up

teeth saying yes.

saving them is how
I could love you again.
sgail May 2023
there's not a pain like
an opened peony
ephemerally twisting a knife
of how beautiful and limited your time is
in its flourescence.

the pain of
preparing yourself
for next May, same time,
as the flower, paper-petaled,
a delicacy,
will be rooted here after you're gone.

this legacy you won't leave,
with its ancestors of the ants crawling on its buds,
to which you resign to yourself,
to the peony, the ants,
'that is fine by me.'
sgail May 2023
My soul is burrowed
into the glacial moraine of Ohio,
next to a maple planted by my ancestors
that I don't get to measure anymore by its canopy
of katydids out of tune.

In the middle of winter,
I'm ice fishing, taking care
not to fall through, gliding along the ice
a shoe skater,
dad watching but not too close.

Even horizon of brown trees promising
a green of summer so we can
appreciate our humid hair,
my sisters and I sweating in the lake, ducking
out of the way of murderous horse flies.

In summer, I would soak the mulberries
to get out the bugs
and then eat them by the pound
fingers stained,
too impatient to bake them in a pie.

On mother's day, I'd cut the lilacs planted by my great
great grandmother  
and bring them inside.
They are so short-lived.

All of it
incredibly short-lived.
sgail May 2023
you have taught me love
in the flourescence of adulthood,
but that can be dark and you can be dark,  
all of it in and out of body.

you teach me how to long for a season
and hate it at the same time.

teach me a forgiveness whose holiness is
captured by memories of you kneeling and my not,
didn't care if I couldn't, let the tallness of the everything
wrap around me, protecting me,
and you're on the floor, kneeling.

eucharist in your hand and you're crying.

you have taught me how to release.
I am hanging onto sunken words, a promise,
that maybe not today or tonight or on Christmas
you're in town and I'm in town
or I'm astral even,
that the story is real.

many stories had ended long ago
and ours will eventually,
untold if ever
and if told,
will evaporate with the two of us,
separated by panes of glass.
sgail May 2023
like when I had my first
****** at age seven

sister in the bed next to me
the first time, wholly.

the boys would cauterize everything.
their hands lacking the softness
of innocence
of love.

the first was a cousin
egged on by his father

I was under a blanket.

later, a boyfriend
he played football.
his persistence would last hours
the movie theater, the car
pressing on me, over my jeans.

souring the human need
the trust that I'll survive.

none of it violent
but it made me violent.
sgail May 2023
grandfather told me
he killed a man
not on purpose, but all the same

on a backroad of Oklahoma
black-inked air
and body
compounding the tire.
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