of course there were gaps I kept my eyes
shuddered up my curiosities strapped
amnesia on as a mask but only the dead do not dream.
Under sleep's warm drug, you appeared twisted hovering above
a torso a weapon taut between teeth weapon of flesh
I blamed the visions on the third wine sugar before sleep
the pills that knocked into slack oblivion but I knew
in the core of my body's earth it was your fists thick as dogs
running towards a body that resembled my own
the warm bullet between your legs blasting a woman in two
(then tumbling me down a brush fire born of love)
now you've been seared off me like a tick blood thirsty
they called you in the paper dangerous
what does it say about me that my heart cannot stop
Singing towards you like a church choir breaking
light through dark clouds you still open a portal in me
gentle-pawed in our bed a nub of fur pink tongue
this is what they say about women who love men
on the 5 o'clock news that we are crazy and I know
it's true for some of us, it's in the DNA
as a child I kept a rat alive in a shoebox lined
with paper towels I hummed it against my chest
as it wrapped its tail around my young nipple crazy
sure, say it again but who else would look at an animal
the world names ugly and still choose to suckle it
with their own hands?
Added: Friday, September 8, 2017 / Used with permission.
Caits Meissner is the author of the hybrid poetry book Let It Die Hungry (The Operating System, 2016), and The Letter All Your Friends Have Written You (Well&Often, 2012), co-written with poet Tishon Woolcock. The recipient of multiple artist residencies and fellowships, including the BOAAT Writers Retreat and The Pan-African Literary Forum, Caits is widely published in literary journals including The Literary Review, Narrative, Adroit, Drunken Boat, and The Offing. Caits teaches at The New School University and The City College of New York, where she holds an MFA in Creative Writing, and was awarded The Jerome Lowell DeJur Prize in Creative Writing, an Educational Enrichment Award and The Teacher-Writer Award. She has worked extensively in public schools, prisons and other community venues bridging social justice and art. Please visit her website.