Ghazal for a First Lover

When I first took her or she took me, sanded
and bagged me, loosened up my eyes

Sun was our planet, broken into arrows, heat along
our arms, burned, burnt, dissolving into ay’s

Mouthed weather, marsh of sheets, splintered skin
where now she buried salt, my gorgeous demise

I tried not to name what came for me, yet: elbow, kneecap,
chin hair, waves of smell grafted to cupping hands, overflowing eyes

Grew me longer than the length of me, myself gone reaching,
reaping—how, silly me, I thought I’d ever used before my eyes.

From Might Kindred (University of Nebraska Press, 2022). Copyright © 2022 by the Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska. Reprinted with the permission of the publisher.