taking it all back

- and they tell me that it'll get better, that time heals all wounds, but i am finding your face in the bottom of shot glasses every single night and i think the next drink could take me further from here.  and your parents call to check on me, and the counselor writes dates on business cards, but i am tasting your lips on strangers' cigarettes and i think the next inhale could bring me closer to you.

closer to that place with my back shoved against craig's guest bathroom mirror, your fingers digging into my thighs, prying them apart on that cracked porcelain sink and your teeth at my neck (always, those teeth at my neck) and we are laughing or gasping or moaning in that dizzying amber light and i am falling asleep beside you on a stranger's futon, in your childhood bed, on our living room floor, on blankets in the wild- my head cradled in your arms and you are stroking my hair and whispering stories about all the lives we could live together, you are saying mimi, i am going to love you until the day i die- and then i am clutching you from behind while you are sweating, shaking, coming down hard, and i am wiping the tears from your face when you grind your teeth and beg me eloquently for just one more fix to get you through the night, and then we are driving thousands of miles cross-country in your dirty grey jeep stealing packets of peanut m&ms from gas stations and eating burnt hash browns in late night diners or we are running through rain-slicked streets holding hands and laughing breathlessly while the wind whips through our jacket hoods and you are flushed with whiskey and pushing me hard on the kitchen floor and my head is snapping back from the force of your blows and i am finding your name in my mouth like a speech defect, catching on my teeth and tongue over and over and over again while i choke hard on the sobs and you are telling me, baby i'm sorry, and i am believing every single word and i think i could live like this with my red lipstick stains on your clavicle and your smoker's cough across static phone lines and our hands locked in this perfect destructive grip but we are crashing through that guardrail spectacularly and your face is washed in brake lights and cold fear and i am waking up in a hospital bed alive with plastic tubes and rubber hands and they are reading me the coroner's report they are running toxicity labs they are telling me stories about funeral homes and in lieu of flowers i am digging hard into my arms to bring you back to me-

- and i think i will find myself running back to your grave, over and over again every night, feet pounding on slick grass and carbonized corpses.  and i will find you beneath layers of dirt and sediment, i will find you and bring you back with every clawing handful deeper and deeper down until my fingers brush your bones again.  and then i am awake on my bathroom floor, naked and shivering against that full-length mirror, staring wide-eyed at these pale legs covered in bruises-

realizing that i never knew what my body looked like before you shaped it with your hands and mouth.