True // Terese Pierre

All the lines on my body

point to you. Lolling, you accept


this responsibility, the burden

of beacon and beckoning


Rubbing your skin feels like

rubbing a magic lamp,


letting you change my life

in three ways.


One: my parents kicked me out

in the middle of winter. I was


an adult then, but also impure,

they said. Under which wing


would the wide world tuck me?

Your arm was tattooed


and smelled like mint. I,

mimicking sleep, hoped


your own flesh would not

rid itself of art.


Two: someone who knew

someone who had a


crush on you, did a thing

for me and then my work is


in the hands of the most mighty.

They fly us to L.A.


On the beach, your hands are

on my bare stomach,


exploring passively with

tamped down wonder. No mistakes


here, you say when I turn

on my side. All good,


all different,

all generous.


Three: I can’t pin down

the object of your desire, or


as you call it, hot respect.

Do I allow myself to be used by you?


I suspect something within

my cells, in the lamina between


rain and saltwater spray.

You love to debate this, to prove


to me that I can prove to myself

I know my name. I open


my mouth to say my name,

and we share consonants


Each star in my eyes is

a kiss. Each hair on your head


is a manifesto. The skin of us

wants more, takes more



Terese Pierre is a Toronto-based writer, editor and organizer.


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