On Being an Angel by Stephanie Kaylor

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On Being An Angel

by

Stephanie Kaylor

 

“Be wary.” Your fears I read like braille, goose bump code on a body I knew long before I first reached yours. Even the endless may have a beginning, a split second we will never understand. Where then would you hide?

 

Where are the black crows tonight, the broken glass, the omens? I blink once to clear my eyes.

 

Thermoluminescence dating, the determination of the time elapsed since a material last saw the sun; how I know I love you, the moonlight bather who will not pose as savior in my battle scene or his own.

 

(though I had the dream again last night, the house was burning brightly, the dinner party uninterrupted as the butler fanned the flames. I was the only one who ran out and you held me back as I stood naked on the warehouse roof, from a salted sea breeze beckoning me to fly).

 

He said there would be something else, some whiskey-breathed revelation. I like him like this, when he doesn’t say a word and I can fall into the soft-lipped void, and I fall proudly in the new fragility he has helped me craft to help me break. 

 

The 2:58 am clawing of a telephone like a strangers back, like complacency when the double speaks to herself and I, the total I, the unsure shape shifter. My inner lives crave completion: my searching a transfixation; my avoidance, divination. I know why the telephone does not ring. 

 

I will borrow his utensils. The teeth, the feet, the words collected like medallions. They will be dirtied by my touch but I shall cleanse them with the same.

 

(was I ever in your words? Was I a ghost, a spool of yarn unraveled, a baby’s skull?)

 

I am not frightened of the things you say but the things that shrivel before they reach your tongue, how they coexist.

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