She whispers the litany of my fourth triumph, the sheets tangled
tyrian violet around her legs.
The cadences of my name descends from her tongue to the small of my back,
articulating each consonant across one lumbar vertebra,
each vowel upon the tall shadow my tilted soul is casting.

Our relationship has been a war of attrition.
I have occupied her;
She has annexed and defeated me,
not in battle, but in patience, her eyes laying steady siege
to the fortress of thoughts I refuse to speak aloud,
but all too readily transmit through fingertips.

She chides and calls me proud, calls me her thief,
but I see she is wise to the truth of it: she has always captured my entire attention, and though
I am a city unto myself,
enclave but sovereign,
here I stand, all my defiance and reluctance bracing this crooked heart against the door frame,
watching her cooking scrambled eggs at four in the morning, barefoot and wearing my wrinkled blue shirt
like the conquering flag.

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