tattooing ardor
in goose-bumped braille with tongue’s tip
along my spine’s curve

how the conversation might go

I would like to tell you
about how the purple flowering vine
clings to mortar
holding the bricks into a wall
as it climbs towards the sun,

but I’m  afraid
that if you stopped by my porch
for simple conversation
and a coffee

I’d say instead
how the tendrils
gripped the red-brown bricks
with little hairs, translucent,

tiny like the ones sprinkled
across the curve of your stomach
that only could be seen
from my head nestled there

in the afternoon light
dappling us through the lattice
as we cling to each other
on the double wedding ring
quilt spread carefully on the floor.

bottled lust, or a jar of jam

Making jam, so tedious –
gathering the berries,
standing at the stove, stirring, stirring, stirring
patience until the gritty crystals dissolve
under the spoon, to be poured into vessels,
still too dangerously hot,
to settle, cool,store
until sunshine is desperately needed.

Later, I spread thickly
on a piece of dry wheat toast –
a treasure to be savored
in dead of winter, long apart from
when the berries we gathered
were ripened lushly on the vine;

slipping the black caps from their stalk,
fragrant, juices cupped in the palm of my hand
before running to the elbow
to be imbibed from my sweat-salt flesh
as if sipping fine wine.

I know store-bought jam is easily purchased; but
your lips, tongue against my forearm
lapping the almost innocence,
the taste of silver pail lingering on your hand,
before drawing in a breath deeply:
the pungent blackberries,
the crushed summer grasses,
and forever the heady scent of you.


how to peel an orange

I watch you
peeling an orange –
how your fingertips
graze the
dimpled surface,
thumbs caress
the skin around,
brush across,
the slightly protruding

Nails biting
into the flesh
firmly before
you slide under
the edges,

peeling off
its outer layers, soon
scattered without care
across the table.

Each segment,
a finger slipped
into the crevice between,
stroked apart
until the orange
is in pieces before you.

Your artist hands
must feel
my kindred hunger-
press against my lip, open,
feed me.

Sweet juices fill
my mouth – I chew even the
bitter seed, savoring all
’til the end.