1 poem

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. 

Rituals

 

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.