The Graveyard Tree [draft]

He tells me “you don’t belong here,”
my fingers sweating the thin psalms.
“You don’t fit in,” he whispers,
his mouth just above my collar.

His voice is breaking. The Bible
spreads a vast emptiness on the pew between us.

After the service, we sneak
around the church’s corner,
flake paint from worn timbers
while the congregation leaves.

He lays me down on the well-kept lawn.
Unbuttons me.
My knees askew, hair loose,
the edges of my pale body melting
into earth.
I kick off my shoes.

The yew’s branches are kissed
with bright red cones
and drip thin tickling needles.
God stays silent in a hot blue sky.
I lay still beneath his kisses
my bare stomach pulled tight
heart tremoring
taut as a bow.


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