This Is What She Does To Me

Tanja Heffner

silence is a habit
we practise
till we’re perfect
some days there
just isn’t enough
to talk about
so you come home
after working shifts
that make your bones
feel like sandpaper
every inch you move
every time you ask her
to come close
every time she comes
close and looks into
your eyes and sees
nothing but a haunted house
and fuck if you didn’t wish
your lips could become
gospels of love
if you could speak
about wanting and
speak about what
she does to you every
time you opened your mouth

you wanted to say
this is what
you do to me
and tear apart your
chest to spill out
all the words that
have made a
town out of your arteries
that have populated
the streets of your blood
that have made
sidewalks of your tissue
all those words
rushing out of your
body like the west wind
which escaped when
oddyseus opened the bottle
he wasn’t supposed to
and fuck if it didn’t drive you
to the wrong shore
but with
her beside you
every shore felt
the same
like the sand knew how
much your skin hates
the feeling of
clinging regrets
and the sea knew you
both had consumed
enough salt for
a lifetime

you wanted to say
this is what you do
to me, see this ocean
where sharks roam free
this is where you leave me to float
between the sun that is
too far for my hands
and the land which is
too distant for my legs
to swim back to
this is where you leave me
to drown
halfway across the world
we made
with its molten core
of seething anger
and the hard crust
of unforgiving hate
you wanted to say
please put your lips
on mine
reach out your tongue
and at
the end of mine
you’ll find everything
I’ve ever wanted to say
you’ll find three thousand apologies
you’ll find eight hundred don’t leave
you’ll find ten thousand
fuck me tonight
like you’re the sun
and i’m the desert
you want to feel
between your teeth

but all you see
is a haunted house in my eyes
and all you hear is a carnival
in russia children abandoned
after the nuclear fallout burnt
through every breathing lungs
and i’ll sleep on the couch
tonight and
give you the bed
and you’ll do the same
for me tomorrow
and the space between
both will be where
our words lost their way TC mark

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