Dear Melissa [who has never been holy]

who has never been holy won’t be won’t let it in

what has died has been familiar and would be born

where before I knew you nothing came and could be

come face of my face flesh of my flesh      what it was

came into my hands      so little comes and so pulled

back the body where it was      we who listen to holes

pull ourselves down inside them      who cannot come

call down walls pull down what we pour into us

holy holy      what cannot be ever in the hands pulling

pouring what was I knew you into the hands I was

a body to be held and holy singing of nothing comes

a body      what is holy      born wholes all of us pulling

into what was poured      then hold      hold      I knew you

what cannot be punctured cannot be born what it was

Originally published in Colorado Review. Copyright © 2019 by TC Tolbert. Used with the permission of the poet.