"Penitent" by CJ Evans

Long ago my knuckles mended, and I forgot how to want
to clash again. I was once hipshot and erratic, but now I’m glass,

the slicked leavings of earth. Oils from hands mar me no more
than a smudge. I’ll not melt for a thousand years. I’ll not shatter

but for fire or force. I’ve realized there’s no glory in pliancy,
no succor in the softness of clay or breast, for to be supple

is to wait for bruises to rise. And I forgot how to want
to fight, but tyrants are walking around so heavily.

All I wanted was to be in your blood, and be quiet. But soldiers
dare me to hazard out in the world with my prison face,

the one that shifts with the shadows, contorts, lacks control.
My hands won’t lie softly in my lap any longer, for listeners

and liars are close. All I wanted was to be a splinter under your skin,
to be wrapped in your body and wait for you to heal over me.

(Source: versedaily.org)

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