“But, on the other hand, there were the leaves. Mrs. Darling examined them very
carefully; they were skeleton leaves, but she was sure they did not come from any tree
that grew in England.”
-J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
Move on, they say, but where shall I go?
I try to fall into another.
He kneels at my feet, worships the hem of my dress,
tells me I am the most beautiful girl he has ever held.
He crushes my ribs when he holds me.
He leaves bruises on my throat
when he kisses me, shaped like islands in the middle of the ocean,
with only wild animals as inhabitants.
His passion hurts me. He’s not you.
Someone gave me the gift of frankincense and myrrh today.
Holy chapel in winter where the weary come to pray,
to get down on their knees in genuflection.
All the white seven day candles swaying back and forth
with the breath of prayer.
I dream I’m following a coffin, a simple pine box.
Awful sounds come from it. Sounds of sorrow and fear.
The deer have come for the apples at the edge of the woods,
and they are graceful as ballerinas when they move through the trees.
Skeleton leaves swirl and dance
All day long.
I have done everything right.
I have done everything wrong.