“Tell me about your synesthesia.”

As first lines go, I don’t know which is worse
(when I typed it then or now)
but you answered and could be
reading, so

it was something.
It was really, truly, something

the way mere weeks (with you) erased decades of knowing
so little pretending to be so much about


It’s the word I don’t think
I’ll ever get to say

and the one thing we can both agree on,
still, is that there is no great physician for this

        This isn’t for appearances, or medical emergency.
        There is no insurance to cover the loss
        of self.  Without rhyme or reason, knowing you was
        letting you inside.
                                           How does one even do this?  Remove that
which has been grafted, in, throughout, but…let’s call it
simply a rib.                

                         Were there anyone to help with this (I’ve read), 
they’d enter through the back—make an incision near the spine,
cut—stab–break—what floats
                                                        (is this what you meant, Emily?  When you wrote
of Hope?).

                     I’m sure you’re calling it vanity.  I’m sure you’re shaking your head.
I’m sure there is no chance (left) of you seeing it as anything but my fault.

But you can be sure of this:  It’s my choice.  This is elective.
Not the procedure or the path I would have chosen, not since you
first replied to an understated request for attention, a sad
attempt (on my part) at starting something—a conversation, first—and then


The “more” I believed could grow.
The “more” I yet believe.
The “more” that does not come
        in the messages that are not sent.

The “more” I had to cut from my body

                                  blood of my blood;  flesh of my flesh

 to survive.