Broken Photo #23 or Contradictions
you understand so I explain it slowly our bodies are ours to enjoy & no one else’s
but I’ll enjoy you enjoying mine pliable here velvety there leathery in places
only I know all that I am but I expect you to know as much my body stretched
a life fluctuating a civilization began to end when it was mapped
intersecting highways exits back roads dead end cul-de-sac grasses & furs
sweeping arcs & wiggles of a cartoon eMOTION if I’m too much are you enough
distressed & preowned & like the best denim ripped a little
these blankets have an undertow like my arms around my children like waves
kelp & plankton birthed spilled on the hospital tile an ecosystem stabilizing
a little beauty a blessing too much a curse
if it’s too much to ask I’ll ask again
I am sated from eating nothing famished after a feast
I need more distance when you’re distant so much closer when we kiss
I contradict my contradictions I strip the sheets before we come
I wake face down.
You’re scratching your proclamation across my back.
Shivers of joy and shame reform the meaning of being
in nibbles, scrapes, strawberries.
We realize the conventionalists’ whispers our ancestors dismissed
as they drank from fountains that oozed and burst from their skin,
tomes tattooed on their nakedness as they made us
and remade the world in shrieks and moans.
The priest’s pleas are mute.
A new ideology emerges between bodies and beliefs,
an astrology in the constellations of freckles
and scatterings of orgasm, splashed in revelations.
Visions of fire flower blossoms and quivering fungi
flash before our eyes like cityscape, like seasons, like generations.
A baptism of arctic water won’t extinguish
the fire of hell burning through my erection.
Amid the discarded underthings about the altar
we join gleaming crotches and grind earth
until only ashen lands of apocalypse remain
between our thighs.
Dustin King would always rather be sneaking a bottle of wine into a movie theater. During quarantine, however, he sat and scribbled and sometimes got excited about what the scribbles became. He teaches Spanish and runs a small non-profit that provides aid to undocumented community in Richmond, Va. His poems appear in Throats to the Sky, Blood and Bourbon, and Ligeia Magazines.