Ache by Elisabeth Horan

I only have words left for you
Otherwise, my tongue spiked
With glass; as if I’d licked the devil’s
Shins, as if I’d drank the cadmium
Pools, speaking of water

Flow some drops toward my mouth
Words like sister lover friend
I have no more poems inside
I squeeze them out as if holding
Your hand to my lips, to taste — for

The last time; I will think of a word
For brother lover friend; it’s the last time
I’ll feel my toes in the sand, your skin — upon mine;
It will be the last vow we make

The solemn oath, the walking stick
The field of birth, the embrace of
Hurt, we both know it, learned from
Watching each other’s faces react

To one line, the lick of a lip…
Small stanza grows
Builds new flesh from need; I look up — at you,
From my knees

Deep into your eyes, and I am wanting to
Realize — we are just
Just one word, given in the dark —
And then another… and another.


Elisabeth Horan is an imperfect creature from Vermont advocating for animals, children and those suffering alone and in pain – especially those ostracized by disability and mental illness.  Follow her @ehoranpoet  &
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