for Victoria Liao
We play out our fantasies in real life ways—
some sweet taboo silhouetted against red temptation,
a captured snake in a hot meadow, all stretching hydraulic
with the language of lust and peeling skin from fruit:
the tight-fitting black truth of my narrative shunted.
You give me energy, you make me feel lightweight;
when I’m chained collecting fresh lava for my daily brink test—
how long I can go without my face to the sun. As if
from a store display, as if I was plucked out among other
smooth dolls, mindlessly miming beauty, red-lipped, black-eyed,
your bumpy hands pressing pinpointed targets,
siphoning memory like gas through fishnets,
stamped on wet inner thighs, folds of flesh.
Send your location, come through—
this time, direction betrays my home body, the flight.
I traipse nets of red teas and spiny shoes in the dark, the truth
at the bottom of the grave growing songs more delicious
than your maps, eking out my phony domain. In another
life, I would open my throat and black pearls would drop.
We’ve all been there some days.
You don’t really deserve a warm body to squeeze.
To steal blood from stone is dark magic; to warp
hell into a nest, a feat. Love, this mortal plague,
crows in vain at my new escape for the portal.
You’re pouring your heart out. I am lied to
for the last time. The right dance sets me free—
when I push against the dead earth, the earth pushes back.
[Author’s Note: This poem was inspired by, and uses lyrics from, Doja Cat’s “Streets.”]