Having Found Ourselves in Separate Bodies

I spread turmeric
On my lover’s skin because
The unfortunate truth of
Having found ourselves
In separate bodies
Means
When I touch I do not feel
And I wish to know
Where her every invisible minuscule hair
Connects to its own nerve.
And the spice specks stack up
In yellow sentinels of sensation

When we are first lovers
We wield swords
Abusers of power
Sensual bullies
Childlike delighters in jumps and gasps
I remember kissing your earlobe
And causing your whole body to shiver
Later love loses its edge
Instead of a penetrating thing
It becomes a bowl
at its best Thumbelina’s walnut shell
At its worst a viking shield
We either become entrenched behind it
Or come back on top of it
Dead
Carried by comrades
Gruesome animal dismemberment
Fiery end

I’ve acquired a strong aversion
To viking shields
Or viking ritual of any kind
Some say: after the sword
Necessarily the shield
But I say: as strong a drug as first love
As quick a fix as the surgeon’s sword
The sword is simple a nutcracker
Splitting strong walnut
Into encompassing ark
And the turmeric stays in the curry
Because your skin is so close to mine
The feelings I wish to elicit

have naught to do with nerves


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