It’s okay. I, too, have failed
at the expected, have sputtered
and choked like a rusty valve
in water, have jumped into the pool
only to sink. Little engine, your flawed
machinery is nothing like love. You limp
at last call to the dance floor,
but feel no shame
in your offbeat two-step,
your eleventh-hour shuffle
in a dead man’s shoes.
There’s nothing left
but the encore, so go ahead:
like a loosened knot. Overripe
fruit in his chest, you blush
with uncertainty, bruise yourself
tender; little heart, tiny treasure,
sweeten to the point of spoil.
Copyright © 2019 Maya Phillips
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Four Way Books.