One of my favorite things to do is ask for
Secrets. I like harboring words that are only meant for me.
Sometimes I’ll see them dance across your skin in the movements
You make, or hide themselves in furrowed eyebrows.
Giving away secrets makes you a story teller, and
I’m craving the kind of knowledge that only comes from listening
To the creaks in a person’s voice, or the octave of their laughter.
I think the secrets of a person’s character can be found in the things
They talk about. I think sometimes it can be found in the things
Someone once said that my secrets game seemed to be a
Void filler for gaps in genuine conversation.
But I just don’t think they understand.
I find silence in dialogue to be just as telling as the words we’re speaking,
But I know what it’s like to have galaxies clogging your throat.
When you’re trying to be heard but your words are sucked into
A black hole and it feels like the big bang was really out to get you.
I’m not trying to pull dark matter from your teeth.
I ask as an invite to spill the cosmos from your lungs the way
I wish I knew how to.
Sometimes our thoughts are eclipsed by the world
Around us. I want to offer a space for
So tell me.
Tell me how you think of nightmares all throughout your day
How your best friend’s addiction is a battle you’re not sure
You can win.
The way that eyelashes against your cheek make you think
Of the last person you learned to love.
I want to know which superhero you wanted to save you
When you were young.
Tell me anything you want me to know.
I don’t want to have to borrow a Barlow Lens to see that you
Cannot find a way to touch the equinox.
That you can’t plant your foot on anything because you forgot
How to be grounded.
Sometimes speaking our thoughts puts our life into retrograde,
But I just want to know you.
I want you to feel like a Nova.
A star, explosively shedding your layers without
Leave endings to the supernovas,
Fill your chest with star dust,
We’ll have a star party to see the solstice in you.
Remember that your brightness can change
Over the course of a day, year, life;
You are a variable star.
The twilights in your mind got us here.
We can reach the zenith from here.
Stand on our toes and stretch our
Arms overhead until we capture every inch of truth
In the waning of a moon.
You’ll never be a gibbous to me.
There’s a cluster on your tongue
Waiting to spill.
Skyler Jaye Rutkowski resides in Buffalo, NY. She’s been published in Ghost City Press Review, as well as Cringe Worthy Collective’s quarterly chapbook. Most of her free time is spent facilitating workshops in her chaotic home and finding adventure wherever she can find it.