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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