Where the Light Gets In

Kathryn Lawn

Cover image: Isabelle Coury | @issayyay

 

I

 

it was two in the afternoon

when i was wrapped up

in bedsheets

and you sang me that song

about pretty girls

in short skirts

i watched your hands as they played

across the keys

and you

trying not to watch me

watching you.

 

*

 

II

 

i sat in the bathtub

one night

you begged me

to get out

but i couldn’t move

i never meant to be rescued

i just wanted the whole

damn world

to love me

so i took off the dress

the one with rosebuds

and sat still

until it didn’t hurt 

so much

to be whole again. 

 

*

 

III

 

twisted in sheets

i woke from a dream

pulled from the lake

clothes sticking to my skin,

i turn to tell you

but i am the fever 

you forget to notice

watch me,

just watch me

just let me tell you

this one thing

and it’ll be the last

i promise.

 

 

IV

 

we’ve been driving 

 for hours

it may as well 

be days

by midnight

i’m inconsolable

let’s not talk

i don’t think

i can bare it.

 

*

 

V

 

i am coming undone

like you

that day

you couldn’t find 

 your cigarettes

so we stood

in the parking lot

and I held your hand

shaking

you said it hurt

i knew it would.

 

 

VI

 

can i have

one more night

we can stay on top

of the covers

all buttoned up

but i know

how it goes

you’ll kiss my neck

and pull out a knife

i’ll lie still

while you take all

the best parts

of me

 

 

VII

 

tell me again

how things will get better

how there is another girl

in another life

who has never felt this.

 

here is my love

among the cold,

dead things

collapsing in

on itself

aching

for that girl 

who pulled petals

off daisies  

on the way home.

 

*

 

VIII

 

i didn’t know

what love looked like

when it arrived

but his voice

sounded like

a crack in the wall

where the light

gets in.