In the aftermath of my storm,
my beloved will touch
me the way I like, all practiced & knowing.
A pause of intention. A rising murmur
of skin. They must think, this will make us
feel better, & it does
for a while. We greet a dead spring this year,
but the magnolias still weep as far as I can
tell & the cum trees are spreading their scent
unhindered. I wake up
to my beloved’s gift of mangoes picked
from a sun-filled pile
at the corner store. When I dig into them,
their husks feel like bones in raw meat.
I think of this excess,
the task of eating around it
& the mess that is made.
What does it mean to take up space inside
this house? What does it mean for us
to be together in abundance, to embody tenderness
continually? What is the difference
between ripening & decay? I hold
the fruit with both my hands & eat it to its core
like a small & hungry brute,
lapping up sap. I wipe the evidence
from my face. It remains
on the surface, a song around my mouth.