Tempered


I’m becoming tempered,
Like a piece of stolen glass,
A splinter in a shoe,
Life and death are working their bloody entrance,
Into my body.

I remember the smell of molten metals,
The hiss of acids at the jewelers,
Poured over silver and gold,
The smell clogging my throat,
Until I couldn’t breathe,
Tempered.

And you – you die,
A sudden crash,
The fire extinguished,
The splinter inside traveling towards the heart,
The beating hand like a bird wing,
Like a song,
Like something that is missing.

Another you with an overdose,
And a you with a broken aorta,
And a you killed in bed,
People die.
The glass inside my heart,
Splintering into millions of pieces,
Traveling throughout my body,
I am covered in broken glass.

I’m becoming tempered,
Your cane by the door,
Days-of-the-week medicine,
But really —
A you fucking me slowly,
Me coming, flowing upwards,
Roaring into a sailor pillow,
You whisper, “Dude, sweet”,
And we sleep together.

About Avery Cassell

Avery Cassell is a queer butch San Francisco writer, poet, cartoonist, and artist who grew up in Iran.
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