May 29, 2012


Written by Tory Adkisson

Read by Brittany Cavallaro

When your bed is too well-made
to be any kind of invitation, we spill
ourselves on the kitchen floor,
my hairy torso your mop, though
cleanliness is last on our minds — first
comes the music of the throat, percussive
bones, skin taut to the neck, the wood.
The liturgy comes with parishioners,
a circle of olive pits & cigarette
butts from the pew of your ashtray.
The cold tile holds a black mass, creasing
demonology down my back.
You say you desire me more than the sun
desires the moon. You recite Li Po,
describing the dense crescent
of my skull. The curdled milk
of my cuticles.
But I am not the ghost
you think I am. I am flesh & you are
my fixation — penitent, & I hope, merciful.
You sing wo ai ni, tucked between my
thighs, the air thick with hair. You think
this is love, but it gets lost in translation.
I whisper what you really meant to say —
I harm you. I harm you. I harm you.