I was white dough--

Eating off vacant plates,

Writing little notes on edgeless paper,

Wearing a bridal dress in the indefinite glare of afternoons at home,

Marrying the empty air.

Time ran down my back.

I was a dim bird in a wire cage

Hung from a silly, flat, make-believe moon.

You think you are as common as kudzu,

As ashes in a fireplace,

As spirits in transit, thick in the startled air of foggy dawn.


From the moment I saw candle flame reflected in a drop of water running down your bare arm to your wrist,

I have been dying of a fever.

In a sharp delicious burn, I talk the most vulgar rot--

Devils blush.

Whores laugh and encircle me, their Queen.

Doctors renounce their calling, becoming peddlers;

Priests go blessedly silent at last.

They all know

To get out of the way of this thing,

But I,


Bloom within it

Like a saint in the licking flames.

Other desires were foxfire.


My fingers go up like dry trees whenever I think of touching you,

And I think of nothing else.

My hair is dark smoke,

I come out of my skin, I spread.

I have to kiss you.

I am your bride in a black dress,

I never stay home,

My appetite is obscene,

I write everything in my own warm blood--

Don't leave me this way.

Kiss me now,

Kiss me hard;

I can beg or demand,

But kiss me--

Then you will see how my gratitude burns

In the sanctified sin of the sweet-grace moment

Just before the satisfied sigh of dawn.


picture: Amy Lee


ellen abbott said…
Oh! There are so many delicious lines in this.
carmilevy said…
You write so beautifully. I can almost close my eyes and see what you're describing.

This is why poetry so captivates.
Caty said…
wow, i'm speechless. You write with such captivating words :)
Sherry Blue Sky said…
Oh this is BRILLIANT! Another one of your best. So many great lines:
"the indefinite glare of afternoons"
"a dim bird in a wire cage"
"silly, flat make-believe moon"
"spirits in transit, thick in the startled air of foggy dawn"
"like a saint in the licking flames"
"in the sactified sin of the sweet grace moment"

My God.

Brilliant writing!
Absolutely brilliant.
Ileana said…
So much passion for a simple Sunday afternoon. I feel like I have to go to Confession after reading this, only I don't even have a church home...and I'm not Catholic. I think I'll have some spiced apple cider instead.

Cheers, amiguita! This was lovely. xo
Lisa said…
I just fell in love with poetry all over again. Amazing work!!!! xx
Unknown said…
i am speechless, that is hard for me...but this is an amazing poem and it's strong, sultry, and amazing...
You will NEVER be as common as kudzu...this I know...

Love you
TALON said…
This is transformative, Shay!
Senorita said…
This is a beautiful poem !
Riot Kitty said…
Yeow! Just in time for Halloween. Love it.
moondustwriter said…
now that is a wicked kiss (just before dawn)

Missed you!!
Susannah said…
Phew! Wow! Brilliant writing (again)! :-)
Daryl said…
Carmi said it so well .. as if he'd read my mind
Maude Lynn said…
My word. This is everything brilliant.
Debbie said…
Lovely! I really like the "satisfied sigh of dawn".
Unknown said…
girl you slay me.
positively, absolutely..savagely
Sara said…
Shay -- I'm fanning's gotten a bit warm in this room. Wow.

I absolutely adore this line, "My fingers go up like dry trees whenever I think of touching you..." That is so powerful.

I also loved this line, "Then you will see how my gratitude burns in the sanctified sin of the sweet-grace moment, just before the satisfied sigh of dawn."

I know you know these lines and probably don't need them repeated in your comment box, but I do so love writing them again and saying them aloud as I write them:~)