Poem: How We Were

What were we like?
I want to tell you first of all, we were kind
We had grace
Knew our place, never talked back

We killed together, ate together,
Like a model wolf pack
I never had one before but I knew
What I supposed it to be like

We put our hands on each other,
Covered the other, indiscreet skin, pulled taut
We put our hands in each other
Fingers laid over tongues straining for appellation

We had in us something feral and sharp,
Striking first when it was our place to be struck
Easily we cut other open as we breathed
Trying to be, kind or kin

We were worse than we wanted,
Better than we thought
Sacred and immortal, loaded full of static time
That we bargained with for more

We were fire and fire,
Catching and catching and then swelling
No water to quell a desert, searing sand to glass
We were soft

That’s what it was.

We loved you now, with edges sharp,
In a way you won’t know, can’t know
Until someone forces you into a bend,
and without notice, instead, you break

We dreamed of you, we wanted you
Knew you would join our toothsome pack,
Because you are our chain reaction, wild and free,
blood of ours, long after we are not

We told ourselves these stories,
In a circle, to a circle, of clandestine strangers
Put soft yielding mouth to ear, whispers separating
ferocity from the snapping jaws of wolves

We howled all together the same words,
Conjured these same magics, but still burned ages
Turned steel and wood, built up from rendered flesh
Lies of liquid pulsing red heat inside our mouths

We did none of it from love,
Just selfish sickening want for you, overpowering
But we did just as you are now, pondering
how we pressed ourselves into soil that lies under your feet.

We meant for you to survive,
Our golden flames, ripe fruit, new and sweet
Even for one moment before too tempting, too bright
Clarity in our ashes; we were never.

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