The slow and burning fire rests like the ox.

There are dung beetles on the floor, living smoke

stretching from the nostrils, branches like mail ‘cross the wire-hairs of the chest.

The feelings are woven deep into the crutch, the slow motion of your hips in the tub,

pink lips sipping my milky fingers from a jar.

dash into the sidewalk,

brace the hood against the cold

and the sharpness of heels

live like wind—do not stop for boys, or men, and obey the silence

cherish the moments of calm, when the anger rustles the brush

and the pretty teeth are clenched like knuckles.

Our padded hands and feet slink in the dawn’s purples

we calm the devils

reaching for the temples, finding the lips

and gasping for air

we breathe the silence,

curl deeply into the heartbeat

forget the girl

at the bathroom door.

[artwork by Moisés Mahiques]

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