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anneka Jun 2016
youth will drain out of
this skin in waves, and
you come to me in light
light light light, smash
our teeth on collarbones
grooves where knuckle
grows into jaw, sacrifice
love on the cornerstones
when you sing of safety
and a land I have never
reached. when father calls
me daughter and I bleed
split lip syrup thick, two
glazed eyes of the celestial
city passing by push us in
as we pull ourselves out
here, here in between these
fingers in the palm that lies
gapes gasps gasping for
air all for a promise, the
prayers on the tip of my
tongue amen, amen,

anneka Jun 2016
I have long forgotten how to play
and still we dance, dance, dance amidst
your winning hand, this lucky streak
euphoria, she has left for the eons
all eludes me, my memory of the last
time I had a taste of any life

we’re in castles apart, far and wide
here there are lovers I have yet to hold
but all of them look like you, and the
silhouettes they tell me there’s
only ghosts in my speech, defeat
on my tongue; lost before the
knights can ever come

the bishops, they bless the one
who bleeds light but I am only the moon
to you, here by the skin of my teeth
in every absence that you present
no more than a pawn in the
game when you crown
yourself king.

anneka May 2016
when you have watched me all my life
and never warned of ashes in the west,
our prodigal son that returns again
my unrepentant lover lies in sallow skin
silhouettes only dance at night

the sun never sets in the east, but china she
screams from the earth when you leave me
wondering if warmth burns like ice or fire
with both hands smiling, you drive it all
a stake through my heart

father, my samson
home is four walls of the lion’s den
mother, my delilah
home is four walls of the lion’s den

all I know is sacrifice.

anneka May 2016
I carved you out of marble and stone
but I think it is midas in your blood
and the back of my hands are bruised
from all the years I’ve tried to let go

you still own me without even trying
my tongue is tied in cherry knots
when they told me to soften the
centre to make it easier to swallow,
but then they did not know you

the sea is black with all the blood I’ve spilt
and distance only amplifies the pain, when
where I am only requires liquid luck to
get to where you are; the spirits, they kiss
my eyelids and paint our past gold

the same years that destroyed me glorify
you. you. you. you. the mantra in my
head, the miracle that rose again you
measure each pulse in my blood as I

of the one I have loved so much more
than all of those who came before, yet
you know I never drink with the intention
of leaving, only of love –

only for you.

anneka May 2016
I. you took all the words I could never pronounce and slipped them to me under the roof of my mouth. yet with time even stone erodes under water, and earth gives way to its core. a cave, a house; the idea of ‘us’ dwindled down to nothing but thin smoke, fumes rising from burning fire wood. as the flowers bloomed in spring, only your shadow took the place besides mine.

II. un deux trois, the numbers slip off my tongue in unfamiliar curves, a lilting curl in an accent too foreign for mine. perhaps we have always been strangers, born from the gap in adam’s ribs and the silhouette of eve’s body. dust to dust they wash and repeat; mantras ticking like metronomes atop grandfather’s piano. the melody still plays even though he is gone, paradise calling him far, far away.

III. she barely reaches my chest, small hands tugging at the edge of my shirt. her eyes are focused, brows furrowed in concentration. ghosts remain forever familiar; we have shared the same face, known the same pain. as my gaze glosses over the crumpled sheets and red pens strewn across the floor, she trembles against me. i reply the only way i know how, dropping to my knees and embracing her. as she begins to fade away, the truth rings in our ears, loud and clear – we both turn out okay, i promise, i promise.

anneka May 2016
if our paths met again
a string of red will take its
place, crimson and bleeding
god once spoke and then
there was us

tell me everything over
these star bright scars
how in one hand these
constellations spark
light, and in the other
the orbits glow forever

water recedes in these
lungs, the sea she knows
watch our moon wane
here I will be the shore
give my all when the
tide takes

anneka May 2016
words are not enough
I can tell you the imprint
of our scars are intertwined,
locked and I have fallen for
so many so fast at once

they spill out, ricochet off
the edge as my vision blurs
waterfalls rushing through
corners of my eyes

one day I will tell you all
the words I cannot say
tear open this cage and
let this beating heart

remember in its place
my soul now sings
a song that goes on
and on forever –


it's been a long time.
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