Braided red thread, a promise, a lead
tied around the lover’s wrist, reminder
of the way heartstring pull
taut and loose and taut again
even in grief, even in learning
to speak again as I instead of we,
as in I would love to come to your house
for Christmas. Ignore the dewy
angels in your friend’s eyes, molasses
voice. The thread will weather,
will fade like the bruises that once
rocked your hips, the ones you begged
for. You could once say choke me without
fear. You could say hold me and find
a beating heart beneath your ear.
Christmas is garlands and tinsel,
piano music mistaken for tears, silver
gloves gripping a steering wheel against
the sparkling world, the car static.
If you knew it would end like this
Your heart is not a fledgling, it will
survive this fall. The thread a reminder
to weave others into your life, to let them
make your life richer, because you are tapestry
and when it frays you must mend or let go.
I kissed him
and dry leaves,
of his hand
on the small
of my back
I wasn’t afraid
to his, or
at least trying,
A gold dust moment,
except the way
light as memory.
the could haves
the way he is
water and stardust
so very much alive.
I want that moment
stilled in the air.
We’re fire and air
to filter and ash.
Liz N. Clift holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Iowa State University. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in RATTLE, Passages North, Hobart, and others. She lives in Colorado.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.