A Lack of Lustful Inclinations

By Emma Bolden

In the moment of his desire I recognized cherries & balconies but no
way to visualize myself inside. This is the theory of absence:
the evolution of lines on a palm. On a leaf. Never are there hand-
some women with orchids for skirts. The woman as a cliché is
the woman as a revolution. All my revelations wing across
pages so thin you could roll a cigarette of them. A joint
passage between two bones is both enter & exit & because
there was no roof to love’s mouth I homed every accent that clipped
with his teeth. The stage lit itself with its velvets, stars pricked
into a backstage glitter. Most of the time I lived inside
of machines. My voice crawled in the telephone & ate
every password that could betray me to language. I was
fountain. I was the reflection the sky left stagnant
as shimmer in the off-hours pool of the fountain. I saw
the needled light violet as a seizure, the beautied enclosure
a glitter of locks. & then came August, wisdom-wiping
the valley. Over the mountain I found another mountain.
I had accepted so many words as my name, so how would I
ever be clean? I hadn’t grown. I’d tired. I hated pain but the peace
it brought as an afterwards blessed me so much that I stayed in his
hallelujah of rage, divine, that summer I lived outside of my own
living. I was very kind, but dust. Then no he was waiting & no she
was waiting. Every leaf a mirror. Every mirror a metaphor
& I was happy inside the glazed dome of the self. Was it
mine. I found in my self a land where each tree tasted already
as peaceful as October, which is a promise I never made
to anyone except midnight. & what of the magic that light is.