Jacqui Germain
On this night, my body
unwound like a spool.
I was beneath a boy
who loved thread for all the things
he could make of it.

Tonight, I am smooth and pliable
like good silk before a snag.
I am a metaphor for anything
beautiful and ruinable when it
hooks on to sharp things.

He lays his full weight
on my torso and I am a leaf
pressed still onto the mattress,
pressed small and flat by something living
for the purpose of study.

I am not sad about this.
It’s here that I can feel all my edges,
visualize my outline best
against a hungry white backdrop.
I am not sad about this.

I am dry despite the spit
and I am dry despite the fire hydrant
opening along the sidewalk of my spine,
giving my dancing vertebrae reprieve
in such repressive heat.

Beneath the grunting face
of the simplest kind of sex,
when two people want things
that are not each other, so settle
for a drive-thru buffet of each other’s lips –

It’s okay. I am dry and sort of shiny
but dull on the other side
like good silk.


I don’t really remember the snagging
but at some point he stops
and looks down at our axis
to find blood.

I gave him a fake name
when we met, so I feel like
maybe the red is someone else’s
admission of guilt, a red slap

on my ass that melted into shame,
a kiss so hard and hungry
it poured its color onto the sheets

or maybe the fire hydrant’s water

ran out of blue and started
spraying out its own red self
from my opening that pretended
itself an altar, though it is not.

There’s blood, he said
and I am suddenly shooting with pain.
I have been so careful with my dry,
I forgot that water is needed here

so my body offers blood.
He finishes, and there are loose runs
all over my pillowcase,
a trail of pulled silk and ruin.

Photo by S L on Unsplash