If you are man, then I must be
woman. Must be threaded tendons interlaced between
clenched teeth, pawing and chipping away limestone, must be
muscle and sinewy limbs loping toward a lunar compass, must be
a heart that beats like hooves upon the ground. Bound by
congealed blood and callous and fallacies,
matted hair, trampled dirt and surface filth.
Must be something beneath all of the extraneous muck.
Must be salvageable. Bloodied fingers, pulpy flesh among the
shrapnel of splintered, bent fingernails. Always bending.
If you are redeemer, then I am sinner, I am knelt at your feet,
I am shown the bliss of refinement. The hiss
of my damned soul is quieted by your velveted arrival.
Buckled conqueror, longing to hollow me of my feminine contempt, sculpt me from this hardened mountainside I call home,
build me a house to contain the wild. Can you not see
that I have thatched roofs from tousled keratin,
barrel-vaulted ribs and carved pediment from the sediment
above my brow? I am home. You are a lost speck under foot,
a pious imposter. I will suck the shimmering fat
queued along your vessels in sacrament,
chew lucid at the leathery skin.
If you are savior, then I must be consecrated.
Must be holy through communion,
the union of our flesh. Must be saved.
Hailey Andrews is a student at Orange County School of the Arts in Southern California and an editor of Inkblot Literary Magazine. More likely than not sporting a turtleneck on any given day, you may find her hoarding ascots, garnering factoids on American history, or sustaining her baby succulent, Ione.