by giovanni smith (they/them)
after cameron awkward-rich & frank o’hara
life seduces me with they wind-stroked hair, they pearl-coated
landscapes. there’s prettier things than me, than every petal
i’ve found and it’s all ugly and craving flesh.
i want you to know about the days when all i taste
is a filmy whiteness and when all i want to see
is black, but not really. it’s because the black, inky
body could steal your bones, make them chewy
and expose you. i don’t want you to be consumed, too.
why would i when i love you? i think
i’m trying to convince myself that i am good and that i want
for things to never spoil or wilt or die. i want eternity,
but not the kind heaven buys. and i want your blessing:
i got all these marbles in my gut i’ve been wanting to spit
out and show you but are you even asking for that?
i just want to paint and stand still all at once.