shred the durian
open with a knife,
or if you prefer
a soft tongue could be
ignore the smell, it’s
always there, hair or
rough skin split open
or wine on someone’s
late night excited
breath. peel it gently.
taste flesh dripping in
your mouth like mana.
xviii: the moon
I swallow it.
jawbreaker craters soaking up spit
between breaths, adam’s apple as
croquet mallet hammering away face
blue night sweats swallow enough air—
you check on me, white light slicing
the room open, swordlike,
a surrogate for the sunlight at best.
I imagine what it must be like to exist
solely in order to orbit another.
the eye of emptiness eternally
fixes on me like a vanity mirror.
did Narcissus ever care whether
the pool’s gaze was reflective?
Would Prior’s dream have been
better if Harper wasn’t there?
if Louis was(n’t) there?
the word lunatic exists because
the codependent tendencies of
the moon could make you sick
m. leon stewart (he/they) is a queer writer from pennsylvania. he is a library & archives worker by trade, and currently lives with his partner & their cat, mona, in lancaster (pa). previous & forthcoming publications include Fledgling Rag, Riggwelter Press, and East Jasmine Review. he can be found on twitter @mleonstewart.