by Emily Anne Hopkins

That there was mulberry juice smeared on our bare asses,
a garnet rough hewn and fist-tight, eight names for night-

shade. That there was the pony’s heart crashing between
my knees. That her mind went soft when we fucked. I

volunteer a few things about the world: that we are pulp
in the paper-maker’s hands, that lust is a pale slip, slabs

of oil paint, jasmine curl of a girl’s neck. Of opiates, she
said sweat sheen, white bed linen, pipe tobacco, and oak.

To be water cupped in your hands. Nipples, loose teeth,
salt, and cherry pits find their way under my tongue. Her

body, plaited with gold-leaf keening, finds its way too.
I don’t ask for the reason her hair is salient. She suckles

pure silk and loves me like sharpest blue chicory-flash.
She doesn’t ask for the story of the boy who shoved his

dick in my face. The pink urgency winded me. I wept,
the room smelled of boiled milk, and he finished himself,

my body stiff against the quick rocking of him. It might
be coagulation. It might be the metal splinter. For dark

feathering around the eyes and mouth, ask for Le Mort’s
elixir: honey, camphor, flowers of Benjamin, liquorice,

salt. Ask for citrus, for feral yelping in the under-growth.
Ask to be jolted from weariness, to be cured like rawhide