salt.

she shows me how her eyes hold water
and tells me he is an ocean.

i ask her why she doesn’t sail away.

she sighs.
rubs salt between her thighs.
takes off her eyes and rests them by the window sill.

maybe the weather will change, she tells me.

the wind blows and blows
there is a salt hurricane in her little room.

somewhere, her cat cries and pees into the bundle of horoscopes
by the door.

i tell her people don’t change.
i tell her rubbing salt on herself won’t make him love you.
i tell her she is not a lighthouse and he is not a lost ship.

she gathers her cat, she opens her legs and says he will come.

leave, she says.
get out.

to love someone.

when you’ve loved tigers and sharks and wasps long enough

it’s hard to believe there are people who want to do right by you

you start reading braille and learning hand signs and foreign languages

because when you’ve heard more lies than truth, even his soft words

make you want to carve out a little space inside yourself and

decipher if it could ever be true.

you start stopping at traffic signls when they say go.

you leave behind words and explanations at the door.

you wait for the bite, the blinding pain, you wonder when it’ll strike.

you keep counting every second of laughter because- when will it end.

you live within fears.

and then one day you realize: snakes and tigers and wasps

have never killed you.  and you realize that you will always be okay

in the end; that no man could ever make you feel belittled and small

and hurt without your consent, and with time.

you realize too that sometimes the hand that promises would love you

means it.

you know that because in the middle of the night they still reach for you

and draw you in close. they fill the gaps. they hold you at your best and

at your worst and they tell you that fairytales sometimes do have happy endings

and you believe them.