I always spoil it with poetry, the way I spoil milk
by setting it out in the open, shining too hot a light
on its sweetness and speeding up its degradation.
It started when I got to thinking
about that first night: you raised your arm
to form a nook where mine could rest,
whispered against my lips, Don’t worry,
you’re safe. In darkness I thought about safety,
how in that moment I wanted to be the safe
that holds your secrets close.
But really, I wanted you
to hold me as a secret
that hurt you not to tell.
Better, I think, to know
the nuance of sweetness
than to tuck it in a cool dark place,
let it expire slowly,