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the lovers

Cyrielle Ouedraogo


he lays his hands upon her own

and feels the way his dermis burns,

the subtle tremors of his bones,

the way his empty stomach churns,

and sees the eyes of the needles,

the muddled streams of holy blood

spreading into stains immortal,

or dissolving into the mud.

and she breathes softly, not a sound

as she quells her premature grief,

and turns her eye upon the ground

where he lays still, as if a thief,

and slowly lifts each punctured hand,

his hollow eyes falling upon

the mangled flesh she understands,

this confounding phenomenon,

as she brings her lips to the wounds

and swipes her morphine tongue across

the sea of crimson, aching blooms

of this affliction, of this cross.

and as his eyes study her face

against the blue tarp of the sky

he surrenders a tear, for grace,

for this is heaven, liquefied.


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