by Abner Dormiendo

How you wished to stay alive
and step out of your own skin, how deceptions

disgusted you as you fold and unfold
every page of failures read to you over and over:

remember Father calling you unloved
as he batters wooden doors and Mother

with her blood against fragments
of china. You recollect her anguish on your wrist

as she regathers shards: the smell of blood,
the sharpness against skin. I have tried to save you

a lot of times when midnight
drowns you but you love the sea of solitude

so much — its salt on your face,
its dark waters on your lungs. Tonight

I fear the litanies would anchor you down,
the tides and the waves of sorrow will consume you

so please remember that I will be here,
by the shoreline, waiting with warmth in my arms

and the words you are longing to hear:
you are loved, you are loved, you are loved.