Raleigh, NC 

History of Arson

In this fading indigo twilight of a bedroom,
see how the evening graces her collarbones.
Pay attention to her fingertips skating across your waist
and wait for the fever to come.

                    When it arrives, search her for exit wounds. 
                    Cradle the tremors in her fingers; tell her to breathe.
                    Show her what it is to be valuable again; show her that she is not
                    violated—that she is still whole, that her body was not stolen from her.
                    Remind her that she is new now—

Watch her eyes flicker under pinhole stars 
as she guides your hand across the horizon’s fringe.
Notice how constellations sew the ocean to the night sky.
Remember to be gentle.

                    —because nobody is ever gentle with the pre-owned.
                    She still flinches under your palms, your soft palms,
                    despite their promises to be different.
                    Use the edge of your t-shirt to wipe the sweat from her brow. 
                    Do not leave her alone to blister in the dark.

Lightning fractures a grey summer sky
and trees groan under the wind’s fingers.
Allow her to fall asleep to your pulse.