hold my hair back on nights like this. tell the angels
they look too much like boys with rocks in their hands
and metal-toed combat boots against my throat.
why are your fists always clenched, god? why does my
mother weep to you and never to me?
i have carpet impressions on my knees
from all this praying, ones as old as the dried words
that stick to my teeth from never saying. my lineage
is one of women rubbing spices into their eyes
it is easy to say pepper when they ask us
why we cry, god.
carve me into someone’s nights. kiss me into
the hole in someone’s bed, light me into
someone’s birthday candle and have them
wish for me before it is too late for the both of us
and our frosting goes stale.
my fingers are afraid of sharing, god. they have
tied knots in everything except letting go. they will
keep twisting balloons closed until they learn how
to move on to the nooses that lie on the floor,
waiting to be hung up.
are you there, god? don’t hang up.