'let his right hand be under my head, and his left hand embrace me,' wrote
solomon but most probably not, in aramaic in the late sixth century bce, like
the pastoral idylls of theocritus with mesopotamian and egyptian influences,
in a collection or lack thereof, canonical regardless.
we care that it was written; our hands envelop letters, turning text into
praise: a tangible revelation.
let his hands feel the swell of my tide as it and they oscillate in perpetuum:
let him envelop skin; let him read the lines of my (be)longing; let him light
fire to ice with free-flowing blood: release all the air from my body.
they (k)need flint in(to) creation, holding the firm as it becomes an object:
let his right hand fall over my chest, and his left hand under my head; let
him lay me in his bed; let me curl into one palm, shaking: a tangible rest.
does my heart beat alone or am i a plant?
i fear that my heart has left me. it seems to keep falling; it seems to keep
me alive without extremities; it seems to poison my bloodstream with a
sometimes i think i photosynthesize my atmosphere, breathing in toxin,
sometimes my own, to feed the river of a body, sometimes not my own.
sometimes i wonder how it might look ripped out of a chest, a cavity seen so
often i forget it has a face; bloodied and bloodless, it sends a loving away.
sometimes i feel my heart in my stomach, digesting itself in fear of ghosts.
my hartsong sings timid;
my hartsong runs strong;
my hartsong in mem'ry is never not wrong.
on nights like these, not uncommon, i cannot help think of gravity,
specifically counterbalance; an art: the force of the moon's orbit bulging
the waters of the earth as they revolve together around a common
center of mass.
i used to praise the moon for steel, misperceiving a false atlas in phoebe;
now i say grace to reciprocity.
skin is my ice in february, cracked and caved, fished and punctured; a rusted
exterior of a water tower in providence, rhode island, opened to those who
wander; the ruins of a smooth surface, dripping in antiseptic.
i know this routine: open, subsume, co-mingle, crack; repeat. it is at once
my immaculate conception and my crucifixion; it is my nativity, my passion:
it feeds with and from, to and for, on and on –
i have no semblance of control (does that make me uneasy?).
how many blades have made their bed in my wood?
how many serrations have bit my self sore?
i fit gauze over the fourth finger of my right hand in a ritual of marriage;
taped to itself, my body means nothing; a parasite: it can come and go as it
skin is an entrance, a doorway, a portal; my insides are meaty, awaiting a
i'm not sure whether you're a
bedbug or a needle dipped in india ink; i'm not convinced it matters.
said my mother,
in a bed dripping in sweat not my own.
from a chest radiates a heat unique in color, in texture, in warmth; a
hearth, a fireplace, a volcanic foundation for a head, a hand, quenched only
with a lover's mess.
asleep i am your blanket, your pillow, your mattress on the floor; in winter,
a jacket, a hair-dryer, a moving image.
a chest is when it snows and you project youtube videos of hawaii onto the
wall of your cold, studio apartment; a chest is covered in christmas lights
or an endless sea:
take your pick.
both paths trace
one end, through a means, ever-so-slightly, dissimilar.
a never-ending spool of twine.
let your fingers, let
let your eyes, let your
let your division, let
let your nothing so
walk across azure atmospheres, anatomically atomized; boysenberry bodies in
bouyant abodes; cerulean ceremonies for certain souls; chats in chartreuse,
or, perhaps, dandelion dialogues of emerald elephants; false fuchsia, never
fair; a goldenrod gargoyle, grounded beneath grass; the heliotrope of a lover
lost; the intimacy of indigo with the jealousy of jade; klein blue carrying
the bodies of the old and tired; lavender longing, forever withheld; mornings
with mint, mouths made clean; a mosaic of moss unmeasured; neon orchestras in
orchid; periwinkle patterns in poetry; quartz queens in question; rose
reasoning, radically rational, rationally radical; sangria in season; the
tomatoes of tomorrow; ultramarine devotion; vermillion vaudeville; the
wisteria of wisdom's wet womb; a xanadu xyst; yale yuppies; zaffre zithers
zithing the zodiac.
© Noah Ross