the woman graces me
(with her presence).
the woman graces me (with her presence).
i grind my teeth at night, sometimes consciously, but always teeth on teeth, bone on bone; hoping they’ll fall into nothingness and bring me
with it. i sleep fitfully, the walls groaning under the swell of an incessant heat wave. my eyes break at every groan, stiff
with fear and longing. in my dreams, i am being held by a woman,
her skin soft and milky under the moon’s thin grin. another night, she is framed by a devilish halo of curls and prickly amber skin.
sometimes she stands against a brick wall, hands swallowing the fabric of my shirt, forcing my breath out in short, stiff gasps; her head, arching
bald and tall, like what my parents would call a ‘dyke’. i call her that, and she just laughs and laughs,
a caucus sound that sits in my ears and fills me with dread for the whole day. that next night, i slip into a dream—the moon is a yawning hole in the sky—
swollen with claustrophobia from sapphic writing of peach-pink lips and regional dialects. when i meet her,
she presses a hand into mine; for a moment, our veins yield to rigor mortis, yield to the divine damnation of us. i press my lips against her skin—
shallow, shaking, unsure—
and am met with vengeful teeth; the woman,
her face uncommonly pinched with steely anger, deranged by the thought of me with another woman. i spin awake, awake, awake. the sun has come and gone;
it is night again. a feverish nightmare fills me, visions of every girl i have loved dance before me, just out of reach.
when she comes, she is wearing virginal white. i choke out a sob, reach for her skin, collide with violent
violet hair, wet from my tears. she holds me, a familiar ache shrouded by foreign skin;
two girls clothed with nothing but shame.