Tonia Marie Harris

Paper Lilies

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Where the stem meets the sepal on this bloom is longing.

The earth draws breath and I rise. A little higher

my toes drawing fine lines in the dirt. The crown

of my head lifted until I fear

you will see the dew on my cheeks

and mistake it for mourning.

Hold yourself still where you are.

Stay all your conclusions.

All the house lights dim.

I feel the heat of your impartial gaze

along my collarbone. Fetch the girl

an arch, a cusp where all her weight resides.

The best dreams are the lonely ones, I need no one

to save me but my neglect for the one

I was. She was there.

I kissed her fingers.

I

curled her hand in my fist and bit lips

my lips, their speech imbued

with apology.

I will take all the weight of myself

learn the art of origami and send

you all a thousand hellos tasting

of the ache we crave.

The ache where our will resides.

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