Stone Telling

[HOME]      [ISSUE]      [ARCHIVES]      [ABOUT]      [GUIDELINES]

let my love loose again

by Na'amen Tilahun

cherry in size and color, they litter the inside of your limbs
my lips are swollen, sensitive for suckling on you
curl your body next to mine, wrap around me
limpet, octopi-limbs
tie yourself in knots around me
pale as ghost flesh where it strains, nurse it back to healthy brown
lines that cut a valley, a dimple in the strength of skin
gather the sweat with your thumb,
trembling bubblegum arrow, lick out from teeth
do not bite down
don't mark too deeply
straight, pearl defiance
mark me down to bone
how will the pod react?
at the litter of marks that run across shoulders and down spine
will they wonder how far down they run?
will they pull me down to the depths
to map out your marks? 
            when my eyes flash, i see morning
            canary and fire live in your skin
            sunrise with inhale, exhale sunset
            roll over and cover your skin
            tones that echo the sun
            marks that burn like snow stars
            over them all, cross them out
            excise with my lips, smear with my teeth, sandpaper with my tongue
                                  turn me into yours
                                 until tomorrow or tonight
                                  when a pair of apples
                                 a more familiar pair of lips,
                                 replaces all I've taken

                                              take my breath
                                 steal my pulse
                                 make them stutter
                                 I do not give, I ask you to take
                                         loosen my bonds and cry out
                                 unforgiving stars answer the cries
                                 sob and pull, strain against
                                 mark my own skin in defiance
                                 too much history
                                 electric-sky waves break between us
                                 just     this, justthis, jus'this
                                 all I permit
and yes I miss you all
on days like this, painted with blood and pepto-bismol
but most days
walking through a pierced-shadow night
I realize
I have the best of you
what I wanted
and I walk on
with a light in my eyes
and a truth cushioned in my soul
and today,
like most days,
it is enough

Na'amen Gobert Tilahun is a bookseller and freelance writer who split his early years between L.A. and SF. His first novel The Root: A Novel of Wrath & Athenaeum will be released in the Spring of 2016 and he is co-creator and co-host of the geek podcast: The Adventures of Yellow Peril + Magical Negro. You can find him talking shit on twitter @Naamenblog and his website is forthcoming.

Photography: adapted from Octopus vulgaris.003, by Drow male.