Ode to Desire

November 19, 2018

Quiñones's poem "Ode to Desire" was originally published in The Southeast Review 35.2.


Ode to Desire



Oh perfect engine

you craft me into

my most

terrible self


with two mouths two

furious gazes


you break the spines of

my favorite books

& cover

my body with their




I prefer your lights

dim like a rolling

black wave


I promise to hold

my knees

to my chest

when it suits you


please bruise my neck

& make it the color

of       strange



you who are

the written thing

rather than

its writer


you only open

your eyes when I’m slick-

skinned & salt-



so on those nights

I need you to


make me into

whatever version

you like



& sink it






Paige Quiñones is a PhD candidate in poetry at the University of Houston, where she serves as the Managing Editor of Gulf Coast. She received her MFA from the Ohio State University. Her work has twice been nominated for Pushcart Prizes and has appeared or is forthcoming in Barrow Street Review, Copper NickelCrazyhorsePoetry Northwest, Quarterly West, and elsewhere.



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