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the backhand of love

There was nothing to stop me from disappearing
into a trail of bread crumbs
until you flung out a dragnet of knuckle bones.
A snowflake’s down settled over the bone meadow
beneath my skin. I was never looked at like I was moon,
merely tossed over left shoulder
that lucked into being a star, into dying
in the backhand wishes.
Your kisses flipped copper pennies
against rough baseboard of tongue till I blushed
an orchid’s frail bruise. But lover, my heart is hard;
I fear its vessels have toughened into gravel streams,
and there is no space for you. Stake your claim
on my freckled landscape and call it discovery,
call it conquered, fight your way in.
For you are the first man to leave your footprints behind
on my bedspread like you really meant to return.


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