The Poems

Untitled, by Zelda Sayre

From the Summer, 2008, issue 

(No. 20)

You have such a beautiful back, it could make me cry. I want to kiss it all over, but then, I’d wake you, and you’d hate that, as much as you’d hate your back being kissed, stared at. A fire is in my belly, I long to say, long to write, but am unsure how that sounds should I say it out loud; how that reads should you read it and think me silly. I do not want to be thought of as silly, and do not think of myself this way. My passion a lonely, frightful thing I want you to fit in, simply. But then, you are not simply fit. No, you move beyond cities, beds, pretending there are secrets to your life. I drag your love behind me—it is silk, evaporating to dust, and you write stories out of that dust, in shades of me. My words you take for yourself. Now my hand reaches, madly, maddeningly close to your skin. But you do not move, and I am not sure what I love or hate more: this muscular back, the spine’s crevices and particular strangeness, or the other side’s face, and all its maligned, affected scorn.