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spring/summer 2019


by I.S. Jones

Again & again, I try to stir you by pressing my lips to your ear.

You don’t like to be touched, but still, you let me play.

At your rising, I lead you through the dark cellar

to steal momma’s wine—a bottle each.

This feral laughter galloping in our chests, I wish
for it to be this way always. Let us run, over the hills,

where I promised to take you.
I drink & you drink & I touch your red mouth

& make a new country, trace the dense translation
of hardened skin of your palms & make a new country.

We belong to each other before we ever belong

to Him; how night is the soft flutter of wet lashes

when you open your lungs as to abandon sorrow. We laugh

so hard at our drunkenness we become wolves.

Night is the lull of your neck. Night is the tangle of your fingers in my hair.

What is the spirit, you ask me, & the moon climbs the night’s back.

I lay my head on your chest to listen:

                 it's this                                            hunger without a mouth


yes, come touch me          here            hold me a little longer

Nights like these, I could believe in anything: that you & I are possible in these hours that will at last come for us. 

Photo Credit: Chuck Huru

I.S. Jones is a queer American / Nigerian poet and music journalist. She is a Book Editor with Indolent Books, Editor at Voicemail Poetry, freelances for Complex, Earmilk, NBC News Think and elsewhere. She is the 2018 winner of the Second Annual Brittle Paper Award in Poetry and is a 2018 Brooklyn Poets Fellow. She is an MFA Candidate in Poetry at UW-Madison.

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