Sestina For Burning Bones

it all started with a dress the color of stars.
baptism of the color red. two worlds burning
into desire. it ended with bones.
the city only breathed stardust and sword hilts before
your body turned blade. you covered
my four fields with hoarfrost. I never knew cruelty

until the day you breathed it into my bones. cruel
like charred earth, like swallowed up stars.
your face on the cover
of every magazine that I imagine myself burning.
(I’d burn this whole city down before
I let you cleave my bones

into spoiled milk). once I wanted you to peel my bones
apart and feast on all the delicacies my body hid. cruel
what time does. how a heart swings shut at the chime of a church bell. before
you, I only knew stars
as apertures in the sky burning
into oblivion. masked-faced women on the cover

of every film, on every carpet stained blood-red. (cover
me in flesh-fisted light until my holiness can buy love.) my bones
never sharp enough for you to fashion into spears. burning
was a lesson you taught my heart to whisper. cruel,
isn’t it? how you swallowed up every star
in the sky until you were the only light I knew. before

my heart waned to amber it beat only to your breath. before
my eyes turned wrought iron at the sight of you I wanted to cover
myself in faces until I was false enough to want. yet I still star
in every dream as my mother’s shadow, turning hollow-boned
at the sight of fresh parchment. and you? not even you could cruelly
walk away, leaving my fingers still burning

with desire. no, you wanted me to burn
on your own terms. before
this story ended knifepoint and flaming, cruel
like a body left burning, you covered
me with affections so that I became nothing but bones
at your touch- all so that you can star

in your own language of cruelty. my heart covered
in decay before I could even say a word. all of me but bones
left to burn. nothing left of you but stars.

Fiona Lu is a student from the San Francisco Bay Area. She is passionate about storytelling, no matter what form it may take. In her free time, she likes to read YA novels, think about the stars, and draw. She hopes you have a great day!