Speech

by Olivia Walwyn

She listens to him tie
their names together
                in some
strange hybrid he’s created
                for the occasion-
first
ones not just the second
ones and when he does
she finds
it the gift completed
with the loop the bow
the two
of hers the paper
starts to peel away
in petals
 
the details the gloss
she can feel it
hovering
below her ribs where
her diaphragm
               dilates lodged   
in a box cracked shut
her voice the speech she
didn’t
 
make having been
given, emptiness
               shifting in
 
                its place.