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In Which She Thinks Bodiless & He is Deeply Human
by Erin Slaughter

1

In the parking lot his skin hums
cherry blossom       & hers
honeysuckle returned      wild summer
takes & takes & gives up
a bearing of teeth      to tackle
young birds
from their bright      Venus-bound

flights

2

He gifts her words       gifts
her tongue & hallowed
sunburn       cave-like, his mouth
tumbles amethyst
he proclaims      apricot, fearless,
eqinox       offers saccharine, fidelity
is there a lovelier word? she thinks,

bodiless

3
Verdant he wakes      to dream &
smokes the skyline raw
plans a third-floor apartment
with a second bedroom for his own
things: records,       anything
he can’t afford but spends
the day, charges it      to credit
& she prepares for a New York City
she’ll never see, doesn’t exist
same as at sixteen       she imagines
storefronts as swing sets, strolling bare
with egret feet      through dampest streets

4
He says cruelty, thunderstorm, indigo      though
she knows he’ll never make incense
of his bones, burn
the blue      from his irises
He says I am deeply human
& she turns flown, eats ash
forgives him

5
& still despite words like need
the winter fog       is a mirror
reflecting half-       baked solace       the fog is a mirror
the mirror can’t replicate

 

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 20, Issue 2.

Erin SlaughterErin Slaughter holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Western Kentucky University. She has been a finalist for Glimmer Train’s Very Short Fiction Contest, and was nominated for a Best of the Net Award and a Pushcart Prize.

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