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The Strap-on Speaks

By Kendra DeColo

            It is easy to believe
we are separate entities,

            you and I
           
as I wait, a fish in the chasm
of a drawer
                        inhabiting the silk
            and dust scored dark,

biding my time
                        until the need arises,

I, who was created
not to bear witness,

bleed, speak,

but make you more fully
                        who you are,

            filling space
as a bloomed,
                        hardened thing,

unarticulated flesh,
                        demanding

dreams through pressed lids
and glands, lips
                        swallowing

some blue throb
            of magic.

~
                       
At times, we blur
and I don’t know which of us
            this harness means
                                    to possess,

strapped with wings,
            the shorn heaven

of back and ass
            dividing shadows,
rising from
            the burning fields among us.

~

I want to be your tongue
            torching a city,

a storm wrenched
            into formlessness

as the threat of a wave.

~

What am I to you
if not the climb
            towards blinding light,

unmappable intimacies,
if not this apathy
                        of reckless stars

where you buck,
            dizzy with atmosphere,

the compass of me swiveling
at the root.

What am I
if not vein, vessel,

if not phantom
            spinning inside flesh,
no lust to speak of,

and what of me
            remains,  I wonder,

in your hollows,
            ghosted muscle
cusping your instep,

a soreness of aura,
blistered air.
           
~

If we ever get to where
            we want to go,

I swear I will erupt,
            as a wingless bird

carried up by my own
            bloodless imagination,

untethered
            as the hand of a god.

Added: Tuesday, July 22, 2014  /  DeColo's poem took Third Place in the Split This Rock Poetry Contest of 2012. We are grateful to Jan Beatty for her judgement, our volunteers and interns, and all the poets for their submissions.
Kendra DeColo

Kendra DeColo lives in Nashville, Tennessee, where she is completing her MFA in poetry at Vanderbilt University. She has taught poetry workshops in prisons, homeless shelters, hospitals, and public schools. Co-founder of Re-visions, Vanderbilt’s prison writing program, Kendra teaches at the Tennessee Prison for Women and is the head poetry editor and co-founder of Nashville Review.

Other poems by this author