When was the last time you
felt alive, she said

I know better than to stammer
she does not like
embryonic answers
or anything less than
my heart. a corner cut-off

each time. I give it gladly
each time; she already has it
my soul too, if she would take it
but she refuses
must not be sacrificed.

she is waiting but will not
wait much longer
still, I do not answer.
when was the last time I felt alive?
it was before that question.

when I didn’t know
I wasn’t, this wasn’t
good enough for her
nowhere near good enough
if she must ask me the question.