IF THE WORLD ENDS TOMORROW

Tell them I loved. Forget lived. We all did that,
at least in some capacity. If tomorrow never comes,
tell whatever remains, those lucky leftover souls,
that I once traced spines with my fingertips,
the vertebrae of books and men brave enough
to love me back. Tell them I was big on fighting
for what I wanted. That I took bruises over losses
and never left a match unlit. Tell them about
how I cried for your sins. How everything
that wounded you was my ache as well, how
a lance thrust in your side would mean blood
rushing out of mine. Blood only visible to me.

Tell them I would’ve taken crucifixion
for the promise of your sainthood.
Tell them I would’ve died to keep you living.

Whether the world ends in a flash or the way
the mystics predicted, tell them I loved you.
I traced your spine. I read every inch of you.

All of my life earned its keep because of that.

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