The promise of a thousand kisses:


has always been a lie. Slipping away into

momentary bliss. Slipping away into

a single, sultry night sky.

I’ve always hidden the colour of my heart.

Tucked away its rose-filling, its pink catastrophe

routed in desire.

Tucked it away as boys

acted upon their upbringings like blue-bellied snakes

spitting father’s venom directly at

me: a lone rose-petal

with navy skin and the inability to change

the shade of its desire.

I found an ocean of blue toys and drowned my heart

in its riptides and currents. I found

the promise of a thousand kisses

and let her brainwash my blue lips—

each lipstick stain, a stab wound.

Then eventually, I discovered

you: Friday nights and their fire fumes,

your gold spreading to the flower beds,

your smoke heading for the heavens.

A golden heart. A medal you parade

around your neck like fine jewelry,

bought with your father’s brimming wallet.

Do you want bronze? Silver? Platinum?

Would you settle for a lone petal?

If you want me to burrow my skin, my bones,

in a pink lie, I will.

You forced those Friday nights golden,

and it felt safe to imagine

rose-gold skies! Your heart sliding

into mine. The fire fumes consuming

the flower beds.

I awoke to my body buried in ash.

All colour, gone.

Your thousand kisses, a lie.