by Skyler Rutkowski
Skyler Jaye Rutkowski is a poet from Buffalo, NY. She's represented her city in the 2017 National Poetry Slam, volunteers at Just Buffalo Literary Center, and hosts the open mic series Poetry at Perks. She is the author of the forthcoming chapbook A Mountain of Past-Lives & Things I've Learned (Blazevox, 2018). Find her nose-deep in a new book at your local coffee shop.
What if I am just the burning
figure, or a silhouette tongue-
If I am the liar
instead of the lies;
if I fell in love with the secrecy
and the fire behind it,
if we are the flames
of a smoldering narrative, if this
is just an act we learned too well?
We carved our cheeks wide
with confessions, our knuckles
pale from the chill or
how tightly we hung to our words
as if we knew how to carry everything
we said beneath our breath,
but only in a way that cracked our skin-
There is truth beneath our blackened wounds.
Our prayers to the full moon,
the god we created that has no mercy.
The truth tastes foreign
in our mouths, and like this
we brand rituals into each other.