I previously published this elsewhere on the internet, but I’ve removed it from there and edited for publication here.
I Will Write Revolutions On Your Skin
For as long as I’ve known you, I’ve hidden in your shadows. Your dark carries me across mountains and rooftops, through alleyways and riverbeds. I see the switchblade of your history slice across others in your past but you cannot turn that knife on me. I have seen you, worn and weary and alone. You cannot shake me, attached to your angles and sharp edges, stitched you first by obligation and sealed to you by desire.
Cities carry their ghosts in their abandoned buildings, in their graffiti scrawled on walls, in their empty streets of the night. So do you. In years, we will not speak of the way your skin glowed in the dark, electric white lines against your skin, shipwrecks, skeletons, sketches of demons healed and sealed. Electricity runs in lines, dark carrying the charge, and white carrying the unused power away. The blood, dark against your skin. The scars, white in the night.
The river swallowed you, pulled you beneath the ice. Still, you surfaced, because it is written in your veins (breathe, rise, live) and it runs like a heartbeat you cannot ignore. I watch, breathless, because I gave you my breath, willed your lungs to swell and fill with air. Leave the icy water to the fish, they need it more. The river cannot have you, you are mine. I cannot carry you if the river does. Two cannot hold one. You reach the shore and I pull you free. In the safety of a hotel room, dark and dingy and anonymous, I carry you naked into the warm shower. I hold you against my clothed body and rub sensation back into your fingers, your feet. You shake until you cannot shake any longer. Under quilts, you sleep.
Your soul is made of sharp angles and lines, edges crusted with shattered glass. Your soul says, do not enter here. Your soul says, danger: do not pass. Your soul says, one lane bridge ahead. Your body is all softness and curves. Your body says, what you see is what you get. Your body says, I am what a woman ought to be. Your body says, I am only a dream.
There are pickup lines here and you have heard them all before, twisted, melodrama spilled from drunk and desperate tongues and lips that want to sink into your flesh, dig into your softness, see you melt. But your eyes tell them, not today, not today. I do not want just your body.
Tell me your quiet and your wild. I want to know the ways your tongue has two sides, your eyes change color like a dragons, the way your hair never does what you want it to do, twisted around my fingertips in the glow of the morning light. I want to know the ways in which you are proud, the way you carry yourself on two feet, and I want to know what brings you to your knees, makes you beg and crawl and hide. What makes you turn toward a shadow.
I will write revolutions on your skin with my tongue. I want to cause an uprising between your thighs, a riot in your heart. I want to lay siege to that fortress you built inside of you. Bring on your stone walls, your ancient citadels, your traditions and your habits. No matter how many detours you lay inside you, the road always leads to your heart and I have a compass.
You close my hand around the compass and press it to your skin, soft and deadly, calm and riotous, your hair like Medusa’s but I am not stone. My heart beats. I feel it in my veins, thawing slowly, finding out the ways in which I am me and you are you and together, we spell out the shape of togetherness. We are angles and speed, winds and stillness, ice and fire, shattered and whole, shadows stitched together out of patchwork identities using the same color thread. Red. Red. Red.