[A Crumb in the Cobblestone—Tell Me This Landscape Darkened Without You]

Jerika Marchan
Say despite all the churches with their unlocked doors
and outstretched strangers’ palmskin, I hungered still

—squandered when, fell through like a crumb, I sat waiting
for discovery or disintegration—something marvelous
teething at the surface—a crumb, devotional, religious ecstatic
closer to being worthy

Desire me ruthless and naked but still in my Sunday dress 
you opened the window—we humid and slept open
into dreaming, yes, conduit. Conduit or nothing. Conduit
or bust. Nothing or busted. Hug the breakwater’s edge

more the grit, my fingers—whorl, the inches of all 
concrete make miles of this low, walled city.  

Pretend expansive with me like ocean.

River.  Lake.  Bodies.

Related Poems

Blood Argument

You insist
that the world belongs to a stony-hearted goat-god—
how every time we act, we enact
his vileness; how this is no
ecstasy, just a bad labored joke.

Your body in spasm
longs to strip the flesh, but if you do
there will be nothing left but the busy
bone-clatter of tactics.

*

I will listen instead to the river,
cold as time, smelling of blood-brown leaves.