don’t come for me

snow the soft air

we can see but don’t

camera inside me

obscured eyes and quivering

knees please don’t come

for me

in this frozen bright afternoon

hoarfrost dripping

don’t slit me and put me

on ice or examine me

when you find me

don’t label me

only rabbit footprints

on the white lawn

only firs heavy with shimmer

flat grey sky

sun sliding through

like water

i let my body freeze here

i hunt for shade and strip

naked i watch my nipples

harden feel my cheeks

go red and numb hot tingle

across my skin

do not come for me

i am not waiting for you

i am not waiting to be freed

i am not waiting out

the next long impenetrable winter

i am not searching

for light in the next stretching darkness

do not pull me back from

the edge of the water do not

cradle me

thaw me

i make a church here

both tomb and altar

do not lay me flat across the

sacrificial stone: this much

i can (must) do alone

only let the music of barn owls

and rattling twigs play through the still

air only let me watch the

horizon go blue

don’t draw your black knife

or sharpen it on leather

don’t cut me

you are not here with me

you are another space

from me do me no favour

do not come to rescue

do not come to open

do not come with prying hands

i do not want your sorrow or your guilt

don’t come for me

alone and unhidden among all the bare trees

i will break myself

i will lay me bare

i am soil

stone and air

Katherine DeCoste

Katherine DeCoste wishes she was a houseplant, but instead she's a third-year English and history honours student. When she's not writing reviews of plays or hot takes about fossil fuels, she also dabbles in poetry, playwriting, and other non-fiction, which she has published in various places. Other interests include making and eating bread.

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