Instructions for Finishing
Hannah Bonner

We quickened in the open air
of your apartment where I uttered

your name, reddish
as an asterism of stars. I love you I love

we insisted, turning under
each other’s body,

teeth furred from a mouthful
of vintage: burning skin

burgundy, bestiary.
Sometimes it seems

the ineffable is the only evidence
I was here,

braced beneath you,
betrayal a forked and tautological

dream. I won’t repair
your marriage I almost ruined.

I won’t hate myself more than necessary.

Before the paradise of feeling,
this brutal, risen heaven.

Not yet I told you to tell me when I was close
to breaking.

Hannah Bonner's poems have appeared, or are forthcoming, in Bear Review, Pigeon Pages, Rattle, The Carolina Quarterly, The Pinch Journal, The Vassar Review, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, TriQuarterly, and Two Peach. She has an MA in Film Studies and is pursuing a creative nonfiction MFA at The University of Iowa. She currently serves as the poetry editor for Brink.

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