Written by Anne Marie Ward
Art by Alexander Krivitskiy on Unsplash
Peachy pale island: protruding from the warm lavender bathwater. Suds swirling and steam rising, threading around the range like early morning mist swirls. My knees, thigh tops, neck, and breasts complete the archipelago. But the big island, my stomach… Recently marked with new streaks, bright red claw marks below my waist and belly button, are lava flows seen from space. A sign of an expansion unexpected, skin stretched across organic deposits. Terrain and elevation she had to suddenly account for–.and growing, revealed, stressed–as if only hidden just below the surface–before the water started pulling away, building a big wave… That never crashed upon its shores? The Isle still bracing for it, yet, feeling tense, tight–unsure whether the ground will give way–plates suddenly shifting—
Swallow me, HOLE.
Lovers love her land, her biology, her matter. They trace her landscape with their fingers and scrape with their nails. Bottom lip running over her center, exploring. (Nerves fire in her depths.) Their stomach meeting mine in some geological phenomenon, crashing, sliding, grinding. Their eyelashes graze her upon kissing her earth, palms feeling the rise and fall of deep breaths coming from below.
A history the span of my short life, and I cannot say I’ve loved her enough. See her phenomena in the cooling tub, knowing the layers: Muscle over bone, neat glimmering organs, pink. How many times have I taken a mental scalpel and cut down her length? If lovers can love her, why can’t I love her as the heat escapes the bathwater later in the full-length mirror, like a satellite photo: distant, removed, beautiful.