At night, the thing that sees me in all this
rawness is the forgiveness I do not lend
myself. Maybe I can swallow the pain
and build a new mouth from it and
maybe I’ll miss it, too.
I think of the whispers shaped in the
curl of our bodies and I think of the pants
that come in between. At night, we learn
to rack our breaths and feed a name
to the tired madness that lulls us to sleep—
nurtured and cradled in a song only we
know how to inhale. I haven’t written
in months and have a scar on my left
arm that I kiss when I go to sleep. Some-
times the days bloom and sometimes
the words nest themselves in a pool of blood
and sometimes there’s gasps where even
God himself could never fit. I think of
beauty as a riot against myself and all
that I do not want to be but that I am.
I cannot look at photos because there
are truths too incomplete to choke on.
But, in the morning, like oil-smeared yellow,
the sun rises.
Brittany Adames is a Dominican-American writer based in many places at once. Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and featured in Vagabond City, Blue Marble Review, Rust+Moth, TRACK//FOUR, and elsewhere. She currently attends Emerson College.