by Jane Flett

Don't worry about what went aloud. I said nothing.

You presume I was a cack-handled water carrier, spilling on the cracked soil.

I wasn't.

I kept your story close as a kangaroo mother with her pus-eyed joey. (I licked the pus, my tongue was warm.)

The membrane of secrets dissolved like a tic-tac; my breath became stale.

It tasted like the sweat of your collarbone. You were stale as cigar butts and the thought of our thrashing was sticky umber.

I stayed quiet.

She asked, but I couldn't make her porcelain shatter so I humphed my own foundations instead.

I steadied her roots with the soil of my solitude.