The words sat in my voice box,
my lips couldn’t make the words.
When I tried to say them,
my voice turned to vapor
and poured out of my mouth like smoke,
Hearing my mouth spit out the syllables
made it true,
and the longer it stayed trapped under my tongue
the longer I could try to erase it.
Memories are sometimes a relief
but the one with your taste in my mouth
is a drilling into my eardrum.
With a small hope
of releasing the pressure
I stick my hands down my throat
and force the words up and out.
They are messy but they are true.
I don’t know quite how to arrange them.
Still, you find me.
You are ravenous
and tear at the flesh of my words
like a wolf on the hunt.
You tell me that my words
are a house of straw,
and that you plan to set it on fire
if I don’t do it first.
My story will go up in smoke,
I fortify them
in the fire