"Soft of Lover's Silk" by Giacomo Pope

Holding tweezers you pull in long lines

vein’s burst blossom. Waxed thread 

with feather frayed petal ends wound delicately 

in neat coils, spooled around dried bone,

placed in lines by sharp needles

to stitch pulsing openings.


Collecting eyelashes from our floor

you dress my naked eyes.

These will hold your tears,” you say

each word orange scented, drying beads of glue.


In glass jars: the milk and oil I’ve vomited, 

labels with the dates and holes they fell from.

I am heavy with you, my body bloated and swollen.

My hands are now full and you have spilt dark puddles.”


I think of how many times you have collected me, 

linen rags wringing tight knots to drip me back 

into lip-lined holes.


How with each kiss you fill atrophied lung that hangs 

torn tissue across the cracks of each sun bleached rib.


I see the tin box filled with anger spat teeth.

I remember how cotton studded gums 

dragged against scabbed tongue 

and you would kneel, silk fingers 

cold against the inside of my cheek.


Washing sadness dried purple from bruised palms

I lean into the pool above your fingers. 

My eyes drink in laps, each lash ending in salt pearls

until with wet face I see each blistered knuckle 

reaching out.


This close I can feel your chest and I am your blood 

in each thin arm, pulled towards your heart across

my back. I am each collected piece you have saved,

loved in parts while shapeless.


Your warmth dries out my wounds and I am sorry

for the stains I will leave behind.