Erin Slaughter

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


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



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,


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

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

& 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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