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“I reach out in love, my hands are guns, my good intentions are completely lethal.”

—Margaret Atwood

 

My body is a canvas. He painted
my eyes as hurricanes swelling with questions. I never ask—
which brush is your favorite? Or,

one day when you paint my heart
outside of my body will you use all of your favorite colors? Only the best ones
cover up a vessel’s holes,

storm torn linen stretched too thin.
Modern-day marksman, Orion the hunter, finger on trigger.
My eyes hold his in orbit:

Look at me, too afraid. He will get lost there.
So I pluck my eyes from skull. Teach me how to breathe the colors
I could never see without you.

Unintended impact. His stray-bullet heart
ricocheted into mine like a painting we didn’t mean to step into
with Sagittarius pulling back

bow to enough tension to hold
this Milky Way’s center. Take aim, fire—an arrow across a universe
where we spiral together through

the time we wish we had
more (or less) of. There, we’ll rediscover open wounds. Longing
for closure, his mouth opens—

I like the way you fit inside me,
without want. But, I wanted us to fall without loss, domino-effect,
arms outstretched, trust

fall, open, graceful. In another life,
we drank in all of the constellations, tasted each star, then
committed light to memory

so we could always navigate our way
back to each other. He will leave me on a starless night. When I wake,
I’ll find my eyes inside an ash tray,

burning, beside his
goodbye note: Tell me you’ll never forget this. Your love is a universe
too big, too innocent.

Before the sun rises, I’ll place my eyes back,
inside out. I want to see everything I was ever afraid of. I want
to know what to (if I should) name him.



Tanaya Winder is an entrepreneur, motivational speaker, and performance poet from the Southern Ute, Duckwater Shoshone, and Pyramid Lake Paiute Nations.  She graduated from Stanford University, and her first book, Words Like Love, was published in 2015.  Tanaya founded Dream Warriors, an Indigenous artist management company.
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10 Jan 2022

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