taxonomy of two girls

By: Jessica Liu

  how everything had a name in the tender white light
                                fracturing over our pliant limbs, tangled
           against car seats saturated with smoke,
                            silence calcifying in the negative space of our ribs.

  how the milk-washed moon,
     sunken into the shuttered eye of august heat, stretched
        slow over our fingers like taffy,
                        stripping our nails to crescent flakes of rust.            

    how you tucked a prayer beneath the flap of my cornea
                           as lighting splintered over our sloping shoulders
                   like an impulse of God, and all we could be were bodies,
                                    ephemeral, slack-jaw hunger teething into our spines,
                            dried rinds crushed between our thighs
         like every last confession.

    i ran my hands over the recesses of your flesh
                         like the bare-boned teeth of a key, the worn beads of a rosary
                and we thrashed against the steering wheel, heretical -
                            twin blades of falling shadow, mangled ribbons of warmth -
                                                 like we could slip past our skin,
                                      fold into the maw of night.           

   how i pinned your wings to the furrows of your back,
                                   dug my fingers into your cranium and pulled.
          your head, haloed with brittle black water;
                       your name falling to its knees in my throat,
                                                                                                a prayer.