king of the hunt

three olives chocolate

i thought of you today–
or to be more specific,
i eyed a bottle of chocolate vodka
in the liquor section at work
and as i was pushing baskets outside
and swearing at every albertsons customer

i contemplated the combination
of that vodka and your sweat
that vodka and my sweat on my skin
and whether you would want to taste it.

i figure since you’re an alcoholic
my chances are good either way.

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the other

sometimes i recall with a start
that i had seen him fuck before.
it was the first time i was ever pleasantly drunk
and we were sprawled across his bed,
myself, him, his girlfriend and my insecurity–
it folded itself between us so neatly–

and some words were exchanged and
before my tipsy self quite understood the plot of things
he was there, ripping at her clothes and she was squealing
she was screaming and then she was naked
and i lay beside them like an infant in school
rapt with drowsy-eyed voyeurism, stubborn, contrite
watching him batter her body
as though the only way he could give his love
was to beat it into things.

and because i understand the need to scar others
in order to be certain one’s love does not slide off,
i thought nothing of it
or of how close we were to his parents’ room
nor how strange it was for someone to yank my hesitant fingers over
to torture his girlfriend’s breast. she had flesh-colored nipples
and i liked how they felt.

months later, examining the scars on my own neck and back
i remember with a laugh that i once thought
i could never survive being fucked that hard.

double entendre

i do not suit either yourself
or your purposes; i know not which,
only that i feel lifted away

from you and laid aside, across the bed
to stare as you pull on your clothes
you pull on your socks, shoes
you pull on the face you wear that first pulled me into you
that made it easy for me to pull you into me,

that face that breaks when i touch you.

(yours does not, though. it is stone,
unlike his, and the cracks in his face
taught me to begrudge the smoothness of yours.)

you never hurt me
(although you did)
and i do not want this to be a heartbreak story
because i am not broken.
we never forged anything to break

(with you, though, i begged for something
anything, and you told me…you didn’t even tell me no,
you told me nothing)

and so i hold nothing against you
but the fact that you laid me aside
so abrupt and so cleanly–
without bruising, without scars,
without even pain to hold on to

(and you left me scars with no meaning
anymore, i am written all over with lines
i’ve only just realized have no signature.
you refused to leave the one thing i wanted
on me forever: your fucking name.
all i want is to know you were there)

and what now?
(and what now?)

criminal justice, amateur

if i could punish you for anything
of all things you might have done
it would be now when i am aching
openly, blooming ever slow open
before you, when nerve cells stir
and yawn themselves awake
each inch of my skin a square mile of
languid gaping pores with soft thundering
hunger vibrating signals toward the sun
that is you: respond. approach. appease,

cool the flush making its nervous way up
through to my calloused fingertips–
i know they are not soft, or smooth
but it gives them better traction
and i need it, trying to hold on to you.

anything– i would punish you
with bruising kisses, with embraces
which crush hearts together to wine–
with the hoarse whisper of your name
paper-thin on my tongue, a wafer of wanting

i would punish you with all this i feel for you,
if i could

i like to take up your name

and twirl it in my fingertips,
nails clicking over the consonants
and smoothing the vowels
to a dull sheen, a drowsy glow
mildly iridescent in the light from my eyes
as i lift it and lay it along my tongue
from tip to surrounding teeth,
close my lips– i don’t swallow,
not at first– and caress the letters
against my palate
until it is almost insensate with the pleasure
of your identity,
your existence,
with you;

i shiver, i shudder, i savor–
i swallow.

thursday night in the car

in the backseat that night
his fingers slipped easily beneath my waistband
(further confirming: i need to buy tighter pants)

he clawed his way into my hipbone & thigh &
i chewed my finger
i covered my face, i twisted about
in silence; he slid those fingers (i love them so)
back down into where i wanted him &
i stilled like a startled river;
i looked up into his blank beautiful face & he watched me like always
(oh god, look away from this my undoing)
he rubbed roughly back, hotly forth and dug his nails into me
(always he is marking me for his own like everyone doesn’t know,
can’t they see my need so naked in the daylight fluorescent at night)

& all his touches and torture hurt so gorgeously
but i made no sound or sign (shh, she might hear and discover my weakness,
so oblivious in the driver’s seat)
i could not keep together
& when i came it was one of those shaking rushes
that hurt too much for pleasure & too much not to love.

after he withdrew that hand
i lay on his lap, tired & blinking owlishly
& i loved him all over (again).

and after,

and when he’s done, each time
i grip his shoulders as he moves–
i give up pride. no, i beg him, don’t move
(do not remove your weight, baby
you’re all i have to hold me down as i lay here,
quiet dust)

stay here, stay in this room, this bed
stay in me (please just long enough to blur reason and reality
into hyperboles of intimacy, all i want is)
i want to feel you just a bit longer

& he is reluctant to acknowledge the scene too long
so i dig my stubby nails in hard to make
closed-eye imprints that won’t last on his skin
(too resilient) and then, again
(again, again, oh again)
i let him go.