you were there when they were wounds

I cannot explain it
Any other, any other way
“The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness,” The National

it was not the birds (but of course it was)
birds chiming to prime the night for dawn

it was not the sunrise (but of course it was)
sunrise nudging through the darkness to reveal the sky

it was not the coffee (but of course it was)
coffee cut with honey and swirled with cream

i could tell you i lost everything in the fire
but you smelled no smoke and saw no soot marking my face

i could tell you everyone i loved disappeared in a black hole
but you witnessed their faces and heard their voices

i could tell you i want to dance dance dance with you
because i listened to this song on repeat 5 times 12 times

i could tell you i am 12 again and again and again and again
holding onto anything that could anchor me approaching that abyss

i let go i have let go i will let go i cannot hold on tight enough
to come again to another day with this body covered in hieroglyphs

but you know the scars and have traced them with your fingertip
because you were there when they were wounds

—P.L. Thomas