“You could love this
if you let yourself,”
You beg me.
As if each kiss could
unfurl its petals and bloom
soft pink on my flesh.
You’re all talk.
You loll my name back and forth
in your mouth, like it’s a little rose
pastille and you’re growing impatient
with how slowly it dissolves.
I adore you.
And I’m so tired of you.
Because you always curl into a grin
when you tell me about the past.
Each time you fold your hands over
my body, I’m clouded over by
The image of another woman.
She laughs in my face – baring
teeth that shine like knife blades,
like mad eyes. Her joy shatters me.
She has you like I can’t.
I’ll let my mind run away with me,
say I could forgive you if only you
could fold me up in your arms and
sharpen your breath for me, too.
But I’m at the bottom of a well,
holding my breath inside a moment
that will never happen.
Because every time I fade
into that vision,
your rigid fingers push me
to the surface. Your lips shoot
novocaine across my skin.
On my back, I study
the blank white ceiling.
On my body,
the galling touch
of a serpent’s tongue.