Your body knows these ways of war,
the tensing jaw, the strangled speech,
the muscled fist that snatches up
your hurried, harried heart,
the stifled lungs that want for air,
the widowed fingers that wander
the battlefields of empty bedsheets,
desperate to find familiar shapes.
Stay here as long as you need,
teeth bared and body poised
to claw and roar and rage.
There’s no shame in lingering
in the place where you spilled
your wet red soul into the dirt
for something that sounded
and looked and felt like love.
But when you are ready,
know that there is only
one road home from war:
let go lies, let go betrayal,
let go promises unkept,
let go all the feints and counterthrusts
your offended heart imagines,
lay down blades and barbs
and let your seizing strength sag
into green grass and clear water,
peace is written not in blood,
but in air and light and distance.