One Thing and One Thing Only
by Miranda Merklein
You emerge as words black as milk,
a veil lifted by my self-same hand,
uncorrupted by time or transportation,
Adam of alabaster, carrying two clay
urns of water above
all ground and sea, floating toward me like a coil
of driftwood I once,
as a child, left uncombed
by the beach's salt stairs.
Fair youth of Alcibiades' turned cheek,
it must not be
my move but yours
because—Nevermind, our eyes match the morning
Apple, a core you so carefully chiseled
away. Hand me these slices
of flesh you once fed to the beasts.
I will bake you
I will smother you
until you reappear.
A tree-house above, built somewhere long ago,
a table set neither by you nor—
I, your made-self hands,
matching shells or desert fossils
from Pangaea or Syracuse; it does not matter,
for what are the chances? You write
a song, and I promise
to sing it someday.