taylor alyson lewis
Through the bars of my rented balcony,
Atlanta seems painted small and ephemeral.
Masticated gum and cotton-candy-blush children stride
skirting smoldering rubber on asphalt-
black and bleeding with rainwater.
I fear that any notion of home has no place in a
city of manipulated steel and dying heroes.
The spaces I called my sanctuaries,
places I have been deferred or devoutly deviant-
suddenly stood emptied by my own rejection of them.
Perhaps I was not built for meaning.
Perhaps I was not built at all, but sprang up from red clay soil,
Strung like a bow, the arrow of my desire.
I could one day plunge to the bottom of this world
and find soft-skinned purchase in wet gravel.
Peel my frozen face from the concrete and see red.
Press my cheek against the dirt,
hear the footsteps of dreamers,
maybe dream myself.
You ever been so damn soft you melted
Through the cracks of the sidewalk like butter?
Remembered the brownness of her hand
on the small of your neck? You ever loved
so damn deeply that the moon was jealous and
stalked your sleeping black bodies, searching
for fire? In love, I have felt everything;
I would thank her that gifted me empathy.
I have never been so naked—I have
never felt the wind and the sun, as now.
Her name behind my teeth, a prayer for grace.
Her body absorbed by the ocean’s floor.
Yet my young soul stands alone, bidding
for hers to join in my awakening.
an experiment of living
the vacuum dragged across the chipped floor
my first time cooking for someone
other than my open mouth
(besides my mama)
a softness of breath
a kept promise
the spring equinox
manifested in smoke
the small ridiculous creature
we call our child
her brown eyes tracking the movements
of our connected bodies—
the salt and steam of commitment
your naked selflessness
enrobed in cotton
the cinnamon/chocolate brown of our nipples
taut against the cold
the high blue windows
the morning paranoia of forgetfulness
the screaming and
the water and
the brown beef broth of routine
a chaste kiss at a traffic light
i love you over the phone
i love you in the car
i love you through the blooming green arch
and beyond it