Heartbeats

Inside you the slow-breathing coal accelerates.
It’s fierce now. You expand like an old star.

I write down what I can.
Inkstained snow falls and lies piled around my chair.

I bargain. I accept nothing.
I say, Perhaps instead you can take…

So tomorrow I will lead you into the chamber
and feel your heartbeats flow between my fingers.

I cannot keep them.
I cannot be rid of them.