the GENDER issue / POETRY

this kind of love is above my paygrade honestly

by Kearra Amaya Gopee

How do you sleep in bed now? Do you sprawl? You were a neat sleeper, packaged tightly when heady

and wet with spent effort

It is 2016 in New York in a gallery at Columbia on an unseasonably warm October night.

We are sweating marmalade
A white boy stands between us and with the roundness of your body
And gentle rattlesnake of your tongue

You roll him to the side and away
Feign an apology and draw me close
I am impressed by your quiet arrogance
And fold
Not a total collapse because I do not do that in front of strangers

But a sordid acquiescence that said, “Ah, again? Again.”

The next time we meet
You are working with your hands
(you are always happiest working with your hands)
That day they were IKEA shelves but I’ll come to learn that you enjoy all sorts of craftsmanship
Wood and plastic and insufferable resin
Building to make less hollow your own design
(we never see things when they happen, only the flash after the fallout before all is snuffed out by its own ambition)

I, a steadfast Scorpio, recognize a passion and reward you for it

With a new challenge:
I come to you with existing structure
Gut it bolster it

Bolt me to the ceiling
Sand me down til the curve fits your palm
A quaking crescent
With the caveat that you add no hardware of your own

It is 2019 and the last time we fuck
is in a craggy enclave at the edge of my world
Carved out by a god that demands decline or nothing
Bloody digits anoint my forehead with remnants of last love
Little rivulet of a stain
And you wait til I am deflated to whisper about all the room we have made for love
And how you have built so many more rooms in your chest for more and even more love And I remind you that you were to bring no hardware

How do you sleep in bed now? Do you sprawl? Well, I still rest like a fraction, head heavy, body light and coiled tight like a kitchen, ready to straighten anybody out

 

 

Photo: burnout (2019) by Kearra Aamaya Gopee

Kearra Amaya Gopee is a Trinidadian-American photographer & visual artist based in Los Angeles, California. 

AUBURN AVENUE

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Auburn Avenue is an Atlanta-based, 

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the intellectual and creative voices 

of people of color.

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