I used to swim with seahorses
but found them to be inconstant.

(How do you love again when someone gives up on you as a person?)

Now I live with the lizards.
Baking on hot stone.
Shielding my heart from those unworthy.

Each of my scales
has enough surface area
to scribe
all of your h e a r t b r e a k s
I will wrap myself around you.

My mother called me coldblooded
even though my heart pulses with warmth
(& I place it on display in galleries
where photographs are not permitted.)

I know what it’s like to feel
submerged in an ocean of pain & anger,
the dark waters lapping
like a sadistic metronome.

(Always give yourself permission to change the tempo.)

I will shed my skin
once I have collected
a thousand heartbreaks
& written them down
with the ink of my venom.

I will remove myself
from myself
& give it to you
as a new set of armor.

& go back to studying
the evolution