heat memory

We’d sweat for hours
your black hair shining liquid
Native skin dark against the shocking paleness of me
I was 16; you 23, young enough
to believe you were in love
and maybe
it felt normal for someone to love me by caring only about himself
I believed you when you said the words on the cement driveway beside the camellia bush which always looked like roses but disappointed when I smelled it
I’d keep smelling though
I fell for it every time

You peeled the molting skin off my pink sunburned back in long strips, so gently; it felt like preening, it felt like patience, it felt like love, and I melted under the attention, slithered into your uncalloused hands, fell like petals
on the too blue carpet
too quiet in the wood-paneled room
she would come in suspicious
then taken aback; touched
by the innocence

That was the night it ended
when they called you away to the hospital birthing room
to a world too grown up for me to follow you to, though I tried for months
to believe you
that was the night I became your free ride
the night I started hiding my heartbreak from myself
kept pretending I expected you to smell like roses
waiting to feel again like it had out on that concrete slab:

You said I tasted like candy at first, but not at the end
I still lived for your hands on my skin
and all that heat
then cool sweat
fever dream
No, let me sleep
let me stay
What do you mean
all this heat
is not my home?


About alabamagoddamn

To learn about me please see, "What's a Southern Girl Doing in the World?" on my homepage.
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2 Responses to heat memory

  1. MoonCookee says:

    I never exactly know how to act after you touch me with your gifts. Mostly you don’t seem to aspire to being a known poet and yet your poetry is as high as poetry ever is. You swim words in these thick flows that carry as many timber solid and sharp flotsam tumbling as a dam break or tsunami yet to quote our Mistress “still I rise.” the only things I know for sure are that I was born to celebrate what you are and I aspire to write with the skill you are born with. Thank you. May I share?

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