I say, Thank you.
You say, No, I think I might have
carbon monoxide poisoning,
and the way the looped wire casts
shadows dissecting your face
into slivers I count, re-count,
you may be right.
You say, I want to make love
out of cardboard boxes,
corrugated for your pleasure.
Where water and road
bend together, bracelets of protein
denatured, cardboard boxes
won’t work, I say, and begin to trace
iron letters on your galvanized steel
mouth: acidulous quartz and orthoclase,
marble veined with other,
second layer phloem, redwood,
if possible. Did we start building
bell-curved breath upon bell-curved
breathlessness? Spring migrates
while you force me phonemes.
I try to write it with wet-erase
transparency. Of comfort I know
nothing, so when you say
splintering wood of slammed
doors and speed of darkness
on mausoleum floors, I stutter,
recalling the last kiss
akin to the first—
you’re aware of the teeth.
— Jessamyn Edra