this and every room


Sex or Sleep or Silk
Tarfia Faizullah
You are the night
that is sometimes
a highway, fields
blurred by speed
in which wild lives
don’t stop glowering.
What is meant by
the word recovery?
Aftermath is red dirt,
red dirt, red dirt and you
are creases of crickets
thicketing corners
of this and every room
I decide that I am
safe. You are still
below ground,
an infinite autumn.
I am the flaunting
of this flesh that eats,
fucks, bathes, waits—
I’m done cataloguing
loss. I’ll sand glossy
the corners of rib-
cages that I empty,
that empty me. I will
spur my skin into sex
or sleep or silk.
Your dresses still
hang in a closet
unworn and untouched.
So what if I am
phantom-bruise, torn
tether, feral orphan?
I’m telling you now, I
am never going to die.