I AM NO ANGEL

but the woman who loves you. As far
removed from celestial as the word
itself permits. No divine messenger
shrouded in starlight, nothing sinless
nor unstained. I do not speak their
language of perfect holiness, that
mocking, heavenly song. I am no
angel. I have never fallen from those
great heights. Love, this flesh, do you
feel its wickedness, pregnant
with earth? When you taste me,
do I leave your tongue marred
with soil? These shoulder blades
never grew wings, refusing, no matter
how many nights my small frame
crumpled in prayer for them.
I have never indulged in flight nor
freedom, have never rescued a soul
in peril. The closest I have ever
come is this act of clutching
you, dear heart, these mortal arms,
warming your bones with the beat
of my heart, all blood and evil
ancestry, my love a clot that holds.
I am no angel, precious thing,
but in these finite human moments
in which we are animals keeping warm,
nothing but fallible material, newborn
creatures yet to be washed clean from
the origin of our birth and still fresh
from the hidden womb, I come close,
my love, I come close.

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