We took the arm
down off the shelf,
everyone the fuck out.
It was holding
a pack of cigarettes, still.
Cloves, and that’s not even the most disturbing thing.
Last night, I dreamt about her
and her and him
were the one
not kissing me.
She said that when she drinks
she feels heat pouring into her left breast,
like tequila turning over in bed and leaving
an impression. Can you hear me?
Dear goddess, can you hear me now?
I just want to thank you for your patronage.
O be we—
always we, we red wind
and salt marsh. We—
we wood-flowers, we
wood-grass. We pine-hills and
we bramble-fruit hair: we
as buried roots and acorn-cups. We—
we green from green, we thickets,
we ankles and earth, us—
the feel of between, we. We tree-resin, sweat
sweet to the taste. We enchanted
tufts of love, we.
You were soaked in sugar water when you were a baby, sprinkled
with cinnamon. Now you’re starting to ferment ephemeral, you.
You’ve created yourself, a little ocean. You wash your hair on Wednesdays
and Saturdays. You beat me up with your mouth, my favorite bruise, my favorite hue.
You’re the Mario Kart queen, cheesecake-sweet cheeks, cozy lips, biting hips:
wine-drinking fiend, a menthol-free Stefani dream, a lavender lover.
You think my crazy is cute, call me a kiwi, like the bird, like
no longer an ugly duckling, like transformed, don’t
mention the scars, just kiss them. Your kisses
are gonna give me cavities. You’re just too damn sweet.
Your lips are warm, like a fish tank. Like an aquarium. Yum. You
tell me I’m beautiful and I manage to say thank you. You say, thank you
for saying thank you. We’re both very thankful here, thank you very much.
Tyler Friend is (a) an apricot/human hybrid; (b) from Tennessee; (c) the author of Ampersonate; (d) avoiding choosing a preferred pronoun.