This piece was nominated for The Best of the Net.
We gurgle pretzels/I decide I love you/it was never supposed to be
a permanent decision. Salt wedges inside
our bodies sandpaper my diaphragm — I ache I pain. You magick
pocketknife & pound apples on
concrete. Is this
does it cough artifice? In the sun your fingertips emit starlight. In the sun I crumble.
So I strip you back like a bandaid. You are bare-boned flesh.
I manipulate your hair and weave in threads of aquamarine from
a kit. You shear coconut until it glistens translucent.
I Barbie your limbs & think about barbecuing ribs. I nurse
tender childhoods & drizzle ketchup on pizza. You are you and I am misguided. I
lopside, I degrade. Sometimes I wonder Who are the dogs I bet on? The girls I sacrificed
starfruit for? The girls I altar before while candles spitfire. I prostrate —
I think sideways. Sometimes I steeple & tremble — I sway, I swear you deserve
Thing to yourself. I swear I’m sorry for not
stepping away. That now when windows kaleidoscope &
blossom, you shrink. I grow. That I feed on
reverse osmosis —
water gushes out of my crevices. Now
the sun bathes me &
washes you out. Your fingers, your fingers, stained grapefruit, stained
fuchsia suncream. It is because of me that your paper veins are visible, are
cracked. I am both of our
villain origin stories. I am our limited edition rosary.
Now, I ink, I drink — many
such things. I take. I self-medicate with regret. I salt salads and swallow
raw things that grow inside of me. My seeds are teething. One day I will become an
apple tree. I will harvest whispers and tiptoed sighs/ lies of first love. I will freeze them
in my gut until they shiver silent & filament tapestries. I will release
goldfish & silverfish to the masses. I will reap
what I now sow until I am pudding-
dense. I will configure
my body to fit yours instead of the other way around & mettle
a sherry-soft quilt. I will frame & blame a
tender image in utero. But for now I lie on my back
& drown &