by Donna J. Snyder
But you never told me what was at stake,
merely some stifled talk of you and me.
And still you came to me with murmurs,
soft and slurred.
I have known those arms already.
I have inhaled the scent of your sweated back,
the tactile remnants of words spoken.
The Misfits singing in the background,
the soundtrack of this moment a propos.
You underscore the lyrics—these moments
never last, you say, these hybrid moments,
part fantasy realized, part waking dream.
I hide my scars behind tired fingers
while tears mar the satin of my blouse.
An understanding based on presumptions
seldom holds. Of the two of us,
only you have the strength
to force the moment to crisis,
only you would dare disturb the universe
we had known in fragments.
Your whisky lips burn a path for me to follow,
your callused hands a torch to light the way.
And in that moment, that hybrid moment,
two misfits come together.
You call me mi jita. You call me niña.
You chant my name in whispers unforetold
before you came and raised the stakes.
The fiery water of your tongue dizzies me,
your words a string of drunken pearls.
Small fires bloom across my shoulders.
I close my eyes but you are there still.
Your eyes, twin furies, demand I look.
Your legs, twin pillars, hold up the sky.
Your arms a home in which I am a guest only.
I am the sound you hear when you place your ear
up to nacreous lips,
the fleshy muscle still redolent of ocean.
You say my eyes are like seaweed,
gold and brown and green.
And it is impossible to know just what you mean.
And there is no time to create a face to hide behind.
You refuse to avert your eyes from my dying body
wrapped in soiled sheets.
When dizzied by your proximity I close my eyes,
but you still can see me.
You sit me down,
fetch me toast and tea.
In the bottom of the cup I find a pair of dice.