Found you that night with love
beating out of your shin, the wound a dark
potential of bone: open, oval
as an eye and yours wide at it.

There had already been drinks, some
too many, cigarettes and people as we
orbited each other like glazed stars:
moments of perigee

and then a turning away.
Hours of this, until I stumbled on you
captivated by the glare
of accident:

Blood in beats, the throngs
of cells fleeing their halls and piling, rusted
at the edge of exit; the heme, dark rider,
steeled in oxidation.

Some part of me recalling
tibia before the rest reached out
and pinched the skin together
in a makeshift stitch—and this

the first time I had touched you
in a week or more. Guests
arrived with bandages
like butterflies, while you

refused the hospital
(afraid since childhood) and held its gaze,
almost impressed by so much blood.
Then looked at me, said, Stay.

We waited in the grass
between two torches
as long as harm
would keep us in its way.

Deirdre Lockwood lives in Seattle, where she is working on a PhD in oceanography. Her poems have appeared in The Threepenny Review, Poetry Northwest, Yale Review and Seneca Review, and have been featured online at Poetry Daily and Poets Against War. She received an MA in poetry from Boston University and a Fulbright grant to Iceland. Her website is (

Boxcar Poetry Review - ISSN 1931-1761