★ ★ ★ ★
Image by Jon Tyson
Love that begs forgiveness
is young bodied shivering in risk.
Young, body to body & shivering,
risked in sin without thinking
these sins we commit without thinking
mean nothing when I am bodied with him.
When I am bodied with him nothing
but bed and fingers. Sin. Not him,
the other him. Our bed. My sin.
Like the way I’m always leaving.
Like the way I’m always leaving
has anything to do with this. If
it has anything to do with this,
my love, I was young & beg forgiveness.
We’re as fragile as the dishes towering in the kitchen sink.
Locking down has created domestic phantasmagoria
granting us some time and clarity to think.
Were we always this way, or are we victims of inertia?
My thoughts swirl. Pace quickens. Circulation
races through my veins. Squeezing of the phrenic
nerves. Around you, controlling my inhalation
fails. Each exhale proves what we knew: chronic,
pain intends to stay. How ironic, the realization
for separation once there is nowhere left to go.
Isolated, but not alone. In the name of preservation,
we keep the masks on even when we are at home.
Anyway, I’ll wash the dishes before they fall.
An attempt to clean the air, like alcohol through aerosol.
the clouds waited the rain kept
away just so we could stand together
walk together be together by the ocean
by the shore on the pier just so
just so always just so
we saw the gray impending storm fall
the wind lifted our pace quickened
and each time we made it back safe
each time the universe whispered in its
own little way if you are together you
are safe that’s how it happened that’s
how it is whenever we are together
it’s my first day on earth
like I’ve never been here before and
everyone around me knows the awe
of living I am feeling everyone knows
the canyons and the trails and the names
of those flowers everyone
except me until now your
arm brushing mine around us nothing
changes nothing changes
even the rain waits so I can walk
beside you and walking beside you
each and every earthly matter marvels
at what it cannot break
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Abriana Jetté is the editor of the Stay Thirsty Poets anthology series. Her creative work has been published internationally in journals like Plume Poetry Journal, The Seneca Review, Poetry New Zealand, and many other places. She teaches for Kean University. facebook.com/staythirstypoets