When I preferred the warmth of your body
over the familiarity of my own, I would reach for you
like a bottle and run my tongue over your bottom lip,
swollen and saccharin like a vodka-soaked maraschino cherry.
I obsessed over how our sex made me feel close to myself, like
summer concrete cooled by a sun-shower. You called my kisses
tender but I called them deliberate and hungry, starved
when the hour was right. My last lighter died yesterday
and I’ve relied on matches since, their struck bodies piled
high in my ashtray. It’s insane to think they too have burned
and that they only get to be touched like that once and never again.
Laniesha Brown is an MFA candidate in poetry at McNeese State University where she teaches English composition and writes poems about what love and home taste like. Her work has been published in the Minnesota Review and has placed for the Joy Scantlebury prize. She also has a cat named Clove who plays fetch.