• Ash


from 'Woman'

I’m thinking about she,

whose mouth draped in the dark

over collarbone, making shapes

with wet kiss and fluttering form.

I wonder, was she trying to start

a war between tongue and gums,

or making way for the teeth?

Were hands always stitched this way,

moulding and squirming and

transforming the heat into love?

Were they built to finger at her

dimples or glass jaw bone,

scratching into melted form?

She would fixate on black and white

photographs, like conspiracies

scooping her up and dropping her

into the water to sink, like a

wedding ring in a bubble bath.

And she would be fascinated by

the colour of the soap, catching on the

spike of her brows beneath the surface,

combing at me to pull her out, or jump in

and submerge my own fins.

I would always choose the latter,

partying in the ruffles and waves,

dancing with octopus emotions

drenched in vinegar and salt.

I like to think some hero would find us

here among the dead, and he might

notice the dangers of falling inside our

own minds the way we already have.

He may see the way we hold each other,

like sand moving through an hourglass:

complete weightlessness and blurred boundaries.

And he would go home to his love, wrestle

his arm around her waist like a stomach knot

that wouldn’t unravel, and she would demand

he holds her at the hips as she hovers.

Just like that, we latched onto vines again,

trying to lift us out from swimming lights

we felt so mesmerised by, and fixate on the

bedroom walls instead, showered in

forget-me-nots and shadows from the

wardrobe door that wouldn’t shut.

And her thumbs press into my cheeks,

and she screams into my mouth:

why do you love me?

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