I am not formed in clay,
malleable to your touch.
You attempt to carve a statue,
a lover, you receive only ash.
I am not the idea you hold of me.
If we were close enough to touch
you would know my scales,
feel the goose flesh prickle your palm,
taste the burn on ready tongue.
I am not the stone set to sculpt;
the moment you hoped to freeze.
I soured, mildewed, rotted in the rain
and warped in the afternoon heat.
The thin paradise you formed
for us is mud never kilned.
It yields under thumbs.
Migratory wings stretch in foreign ways.
How can you say you love the arch of my neck,
when you’ve yet to see it sway loose against collar bone?
When I only now raise my head to
yield against curved grin?
Despite the lines around
my eyes, I have never
been looking for anything
Despite the nails
pierced through my feet,
I only want to soar
“Untethered” is previously published in September (2014).