“I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,

by the gazelles or the hinds of the field,

that you stir not up nor awaken love until it please.”

–The Song of Solomon


What I thought

as he ran languid fingers

down the expensive territory,

waist and hard hipbone,

squeezed my ass like sweet

dough to be devoured

as his eyes ate greedily before,

mouth to lip, tongue

binding tongue close(d)

as a tight contract

Was how retreat furls

through rooms like a nautilus,

narrowing and bare, untouched

save where the virgin

girl hung a locket,

took a breath, broke

the rules and dove

and was seen no more,

How love is a thing

with hands and mouths

and many faces, sneering

and crying, wiping clean

at the end, an elemental

amalgam of cock and cunt

and sweaty air: profound

How he treats this moment

like worship, this desecration,

not my body he possesses

secondhand, hardly believing

his luck, but a room

immaculately vacant, light

over the door, waiting;

How what shouldn’t be

is: the boy who doesn’t

deserve is the man

who taught me to want,

that it’s Hell or nothing,

fire and volcanic ash

or neck deep in ice

and the sound of gnawing,

That my mind, closed

like a shell, secreting

mother of pearl around

that shard of sand

wearing at my heart,

knife to jagged wound,

scar tissue snapping

with a latex sound,

waits that much closer

to a thing like Heaven.