Fair Warning


I don’t know how to apologize.

I will                be a little gentle,

carry you through ’til the tips of your toes ache,

infuse you with slow, potent poison

until you are drunk,

forget who you are;


I can see the moment it happens,

a sudden click, dropped guard –

I own you, you accept it.


Pretend that you have no gender,

no history or name.


Pretend you are a simpler creature,

an ecstatic plant,

a flock of small birds

perfectly choreographed by my slow hands.


I won’t shatter you.

I won’t lose you.


I will tender you,

read you each word:

a divine translation,

an excavation of your deepest hiddens.


Let me lick you new,

refresh your stale each peeled layer.


Offer me your shameful grit.

Show me the gaping wounds you hide

and I will salve them with my humming praise.


What most terrifies you about yourself?

Give me the sordid you forsake,

I will shake you out of flesh.


I love your soul,

your human and your molecule,

your four legs and your struggle

            to cling

               to me

                  to avoid the void. 


I will nostalgia your terrain as though you were a favorite country I once visited.

I will travel you thoroughly, your back streets and mountain trails. 


There is nothing you can be that isn’t enough

I will prove it to you if I have to break you down and rebuild you each bone –


            all the parts you are, I am. 


exist inside of only my two hands – I won’t drop you.


Taking off your clothes doesn’t mean you’re naked. 

Throwing up your hands is not surrender.


Meet me in the places you keep fear.

Arrive unarmed and earnest, honest and

it’s okay if your knees shake:

we’ll fall down together in the snake pit,

you won’t get bitten;


I’m good at sucking venom,

better at charming the asp. 


I’m not interested in being your protector, savior, saint. 

I don’t want your promises or your faith;

I want your transformation,

to explode and implode your identity,

to perform open-soul surgery


and leave you

more whole

than when I found you. 


About jake.forrest

Poet. Songwriter. Etc. View all posts by jake.forrest

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