I have learnt where the pieces go by now.
I have the blisters to show
how many times I rebuilt your spine,
and added reinforcements to the vertebrae,
only to pick up the fragments
when it inevitably snapped and shattered
onto the floor again.
There are splinters of bone beneath my skin.
The bits of you that became too sharp,
that became too much like thorns
to bear them in your own sides.
I let you turn my fingers into bramble thickets
and plucked out all the edges
of careless words hurled in your direction
when all it really took was a whisper
to knock you down from the scaffolding
and my arms around you were no real protection.