With an Amy Lowell Line Running through My Head
Suppose we hadn’t met on the grass
at golden hour, sat on a blanket
with Moscato and flowers. Suppose
the flash-flood hadn’t ambushed us,
soaked sidewalk, dripping leaves.
How can I describe the tiny moons
glowing in your eyes? Last week,
a little before first light, we lay
in your bed—white sheets, marbled
comforter—when you said Every time
we have sex, I see colors, your fingertips
climbing the cliff of my shoulder.
That’s never happened
with anyone else. When I watch the sun
set over the ocean, all scent-of-salt,
rising tide, or walk along the bayou
at midday, T-shirt soaked
with sweat, I’m full of words,
know just how to describe
the stuttering contrail, sugared scent
of car exhaust, wild rosemary,
hydrangeas drying out on my dresser.
And, then, thumb tracing
my curls, your brown eyes scraped
against the want in me, your affection
for lilies, suspenders, saved receipts.
Suppose I had known how to say
You take the words from me,
ripple the sureness in me
the way the rain pricked
the puddled roads in last week’s storm.
Lips on my clavicle, morning light
sieving through the trees—
This time, it was orange and green.
The First Night I Slept in Your Bed,
I was tempted to say:
I’ve renamed your calloused palm riverbed.
I have this new theory that:
tree branches are trying to wave to us.
living alone is the emotional equivalent to drowning. Or hypothermia.
I would christen our first-born son Ares.
doesn’t every touch feel like a collision?
I don’t believe in christenings.
the bruises on your chest have turned the color of dusk,
my daily walk, the lump in my throat.
I don’t want to be anyone’s image of pity.
you press against my leg and my mouth becomes a desert.
I think if you’re an ocean wave, then I’m the rock.
if tonight is a monstrous thing, let me see its teeth.
DESPY BOUTRIS's writing has been published or is forthcoming in Copper Nickel, Ploughshares, Crazyhorse, American Poetry Review, The Gettysburg Review, Colorado Review, and elsewhere. Currently, she teaches at the University of Houston and serves as Editor-in-Chief of The West Review.