Steven Sanchez – Vesuvius

Steven Sanchez


I’ve already forgotten
how to kiss you, my tongue
always inside my mouth
even when yours slips
inside my lips, each muscle
of your tongue a word
I’m too afraid to say.
The earth trembles
and we’re used to it.
This fault line
has shaken our city
again and again.
The first tremor
broke a vase
and blackbirds flocked
to the sky, casting us
in shadow.  You held me,
promised we’d be okay.
And another, then another.
After years, this became normal,
the quake, my tremor,
your firm embrace,
and I didn’t want to admit
that I couldn’t see us
together for long,
didn’t want to unlearn
the width of your forearm
inside my hand, holding it
around my waist.
And again, another
group of tremors,
and again, your arm
around me, our naked
bodies coated in ash.
They’ll find our bodies,
my head against your chest,
and call us lovers.

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