Krista Cox

Marriage as a Poem Between two Skeletons

 

there hang two photos          each a

skeleton in profile         x-ray arms reaching

for one another but failing

to touch         blank white wall

stretching          between their bony

fingers

 

and I think

every love poem I’ve ever read was

written           in that space

 

filaments from body          to body

meant to draw them

together

like the stitch         and stitch          and pull

that closes a seam

 

and I think, maybe that’s marriage: a poem to fill the wall between our outstretched

hands and a promise to pretend the wall is skin and the poem is skin and they join

the hands and the hands will stay that way—the text will not fade and the wall will not crumble

 

but the skin will         in fact          shrivel and

the skin will          in fact          shrink and

we’ll be         left          just

 

bones

 

with nowhere

left          to hide the

selves we’ve hidden from

each          and          every

other

 

but I am holding your hand in my hand, still and

all around us things are crumbling and shrinking and

we are unhiding all our secrets in this rubble not

because we are collapsing too but because

nakedness is a rare and special kind of safety.

 


For money, Krista Cox is a paralegal. For joy, she’s an associate poetry editor at Stirring: A Literary Collection and Executive Director of Lit Literary Collective, a nonprofit serving her local literary community. Her poetry has appeared in Columbia Journal, Rappahannock Review, The Humanist, and elsewhere.

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