portion of the artwork for Imran Boe Khan's poetry

They say looks aren’t everything, but they’re wrong
Imran Boe Khan

When we were young, you put on a mask,
forced us to unlearn thirst.
My faucet beaded above our heads
until vinegar and scorched metal
pilgrimmed our tastebuds,
baptised these mouths unintelligible.
Fighting like hell not to relapse,
we slept apart, necks twitching towards the chop.
In time, our paths from the sea honeyed our strides,
swaddled that discord. The light was here,
mercy-poked and nesting.
Our origins had disappeared enough,
we’d both breached the hold.
Then last night’s freefall knocked the salt from your blood
—a creeper, you called it, the slow rush.
You aren’t afraid anymore, curled inside
your unconscious rebirth, naked,
crowded by blankness and bodies.
Now I don’t know how long I can keep you,
with your mind romping hideaways
beneath my padlocked glass.
Because I want it for myself,
the getaway, the breathless arc
that may have been yesterday,
our freedom, our want.

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 54 | Fall/Winter 2019