He cradles his teacup, trying to bleed warmth
into it. His irises shine like morning dew does
when it crowns grass. He professes he swallows
each jagged breath that wafts up your throat,
snowflakes in a storm reversed. Lightning strikes
digging gilded heels into earth’s first contact.
I said hurry. You want to zip him to your chest,
and he’ll need to cleave the lapels apart to inhale.
I cut up my calendar for you. I folded the 4th
and 5th into scraps, asked strangers to slip
paper between the notches of my spine. I bore
the scarlet banner of fever over my cheeks.
Narcissus over splotches of my own vomit,
I saw my hands shake like someone set fire
to them. Your lover laughs at this. For him,
you learned parties and people, fit lips around
the rim to catch the taste of crushed grapes.
Do you remember when we vowed to dedicate
each room of our house to a flower? You shed
petals for fruit, no grit left for studding skins.
I was the one who squinted through the scope,
then squeezed my eyes shut, hoping for stars.
I was never boy and could not give. I only had
a girl who made trees shrivel into themselves,
their bark blackening, their branches curling
into cursive. Your lover tilts his head: he can
see it. The two of you have much in common.
Lake Vargas is a regular contributor at Royal Rose Magazine. She primarily writes poetry and creative non-fiction. Her work has been published by Sea Foam Mag, Empty Mirror, and The Cerurove, among others. She tweets at @lakewrites. More of her work can be found on her Tumblr, @stonemattress.