by Jesse Rice-Evans
My arms spread eagle,
I flake and scatter with the wind—
draw lines between our skin.
I could have done so much worse,
bird in a ship, clamoring
I scrapbook every ribbon, every scrape
where you latched on and dragged down,
each finger a hook of want,
hips pillowing through spread knuckles—
I am never less alone
than when you fold my arms into ropes,
knot me like a sail, ride me
like a nightmare, sweat dewing my hairline,
window a smear of fog,
Taurus moon idling above.
If there was a way to keep my marks,
permanent stripes of longing, I would
brand your fingerprints on my shoulders,
bloom of flesh between my legs,
each small wound tended to, a fire dim
If there isn’t a conduit nearby, you
sure fooled me. I am a broken dam,
flooded creek raked over by boots
and oak leaves, tomboy in warm colors.
I swallow mothballs, seeking preservation.
You try on clothes, tie my tie
I have never wanted to be someone else so much.
You find me in the foyer pocketing candy. If I beg for your hands on me, it’s because I am cold to the touch, brimming with impatience, floral scarf.
Tell me I will recognize myself outside of your clothes. Tell me to look closer, ask me for a secret, a scary story. Ask me to take off the blazer, curl up behind you, ask me to stay. Without you, I am a boat unmoored, salt flaking paint. Anchor me with your long legs.