i would’ve died that february.
alone. the walls still have my tears
sewn behind mildew in the grout.
my mind—the crepuscule
darkening into an apathetic black.
i would have died that morning.
dragging hands and knees across the stone
to the bathroom, not yet detached
i called to you.
i would have died on the floor,
somberness swallowing my legs
as i bled humanity back to the earth
in fist-sized waves.
the heaviness of my sob, like an anchor
angrily tossed to the sea.
i would have died under the weight
of expectation asleep
in crimson puddles, smeared on my thighs and arms
staining the tile, trying to out-crawl the irrecovocable.
you were sicker than i.
you were dying. really dying.
your liver turning back on itself,
moss-toned skin and sallow eyes, vomitous between breaths.
you were dying. unable to sleep or eat without pain.
i leaned on you at your weakest,
surprised to feel your usually strong arms
shaking under pressure as i curved
my discolored knees to my chest and
bent toward you
to be held.