after Ocean Vuong
Krista, do not fight your grief. Your throat is an eruption but lava forges worlds. Close your eyes. Your mother went dormant long ago and you live so far from the caldera, now. Yes, you still burn on the back of a shoulder, the tip of your index finger, each of your tear ducts, but here, now, you no longer smell of smoke. Krista, you are safe. You know the size of your footprint in ash and, love, it has grown so large. Here is a bed with sheets of water. Here is a fireproof lover. Krista, do you remember how to rest? Stomach still as an aftermath? Forget the summit. Forget the men buried in your cliffs. If you shudder long enough, you can shake their anchors from your angry skin. Some day, you will wake to find your mother crumbling into some distant sea. Here is a sky so clear, just waiting to be filled. I promise— I promise you, this smoldering is not your ruin.