I’m trying to learn how to write within parameters – how to follow a structure. I told this to one of my friends, and he told me to write a poem about oral sex that had three lines followed by a rhyming couplet. A little specific, if you ask me, but I followed directions.
I: ask for more water, explain my lips
are splitting and I have sucked down
an entire tube of chapstick today.
He: returns from the kitchen empty
handed, tongue wet from the tap,
offers to lick my dry lips for me.
his body on mine:
cold butter on thick-cut wheat,
but I am the one who is spread.
he asks if it is time yet, I ask
for just a little bit longer.
he thaws. I start to drink him in.
it was drinking myself from the inside out:
every drop of internal stuff sucked dry,
every pearl of bile or blood or stomach acid
drained. i tossed my bones around inside
my skin, thought they might look better
arranged some other way.
on my back in a room blanketed by blue
curtains, fingers pressed against the wall
trying to steady a body rolling
like wind-beaten dunes. he licks and twists me,
trying to wring the last bit of wetness
from cartilage, metacarpals, the sheen
over the eyeballs – where he stands,
no puddle forms.
he juggles my pulse with his tongue:
knows just how long to keep me
in the air, how to help
me stick the landing.
Naked in front of the mirror, white
dimpled body caught
blank in lamplight.
eyes like telescopes
inspect every seam.
I am close to adding my vomit
to the gunk that holds
the sidewalk together. Instead,
I nibble at the end of my tongue
pulling off tastebuds like stickers.
It is no longer about me.
Blue corduroy over curve
of his legs, like he’s always holding
an apple between his knees.
His arms are wound around my throat like a winter scarf.
Abrasive as coarse wool, bits of him try to sneak through
my lips like stray fibers. Mouth not built to barricade,
eventually cheeks are filled to roundness – two small
plums, and a snakeskin teasing my tonsils.
The next morning there are thumbprints where evidence
is not collected. All I can find of him are the pieces
caught between my teeth.