It was the summer of
salt water and
You were picking thorns
from your palms
was coughing up words
by a spider’s thread.
we listened to
Spanish guitar and
watched the stars.
I asked you
why the sky was littered
I asked you
if your God was a jeweler.
Where I live,
the streets are littered
The people are littered
and God is a bee keeper.
- Lana Maric, Evening Primrose
In my defense, my forgotten breasts. In my defense, the hair
no one brushed from my face. In my defense, my hips.
Months earlier, I remembered thinking that sex was a ship retreating
on the horizon. I could do nothing but shove my feet in sand.
I missed all the things loneliness taught me: eyes that follow you
crossing a room, hands that find their home on you. To be noticed. Even.
In my defense, his hands. In my defense, his arms. In my defense,
how when we just sat listening to each other breathe, he said, This is enough.
My body was a house I had closed for the winter. It shouldn’t have been
that difficult, empty as it was. Still, I stared hard as I snapped off the lights.
My body was specter which haunted me, appearing when I stripped
in the bathroom, when I crawled into empty beds, when it rained.
My body was abandoned construction, restoration scaffolding
which became permanent. My body’s unfinished became its finished.
So in my defense, when he touched me the lights of my body came on.
In my defense, the windows were thrown open. In my defense, spring.
There needs to be a code word or something that means “my brain is fighting me every step of the way today and I feel like I’m going to vibrate out of my skin, so I need you to forgive everything and go slowly and speak softly and lower your expectations.” And then we could all just be like, “I know I said we could go to a movie tonight but… tangerines.” And the other person would nod and squeeze your elbow or rub your head and you wouldn’t feel like a failure.
This is what I know:
that it burns when you touch me, and it burns brighter when you do not and I am not sure how those things can quite exist in the same body.