Lamia Love 

I want to draw a picture of what you mean to me 

but I’m a piss poor artist, even with word-brushes.

I want to tell you I cherish you in horrible rhymes 

and uneven meter, broken up with old caesuras,

some lines even you wouldn’t read, you, who open

like a lover’s thighs upon a kiss so sweaty sweeping

one arm that you wrap around my neck like a question.

But there are no images I could draw that would satisfy,

none that would show you in corseted simmering glee,

no photograph of you remembering me remembering 

and reminding me of those lilting moments in chance, 

like when I watched your toes, painted pastel greens,

sink in the sand, like clutching a dream-almost-daylight,

even as you imagined sharks beneath the water’s edge.

And the blue of sky-diving eyes straight into mine, rush,

who can paint that color of flame upon the chill of a sea?

We breathe but not with our lungs, only our finger tips

like smoldering ice, the heat of the frozen, we two,

like sailors ever-docked, close enough to smell salt

but not near enough to taste it; that is what it is like

sometimes–to love you–a picture of salt and sea, 

ice and smoke, pucker and blow, lips and madness,

like the drilling seagulls nodding at shadows below.

You are safety and warning, primrose and punches

encircled in the harbored haven of wide pillow tides. 

And I want to do you justice like you do me favors, 

gallop my heart in nursery rhymes and terrifying arches

quaking knees and stammering sonnets of hiccuping

trees branches pulled and bent near to snapping, give

over me like you do sometimes with that leering grin

aiming to frighten me with desire, leaning in and on

as the sculpted figures of en-marbled lunging Lamia.


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