I don’t want these words wet on your tongue
or nestled, like hair, between your teeth.
Keep them inside, unspoken.
Bury them in your memory
like childhood, like need.
Slice-open your tongue,
dig into your gums, into your throat,
if that’s what it takes to make some good silence.

Don’t build your temple with my bones
or sew vestments from my skin.
Don’t turn my skull to reliquary,
cover it with gold and jewels,
shine it with chaste, priestly spit.
You use your spit for sex and when you lie.

My blood is not yours to drink
in your silver cups, nor is my flesh yours to eat
with your stale bread and wheedling guilt.

There is nothing to me other than air
and ash, so I am not responsible
for what you make of me.

You will see what you want to see.
I cannot save you.
And even if I could, I would not.