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Sep 2020
I imagine your hands dwarfing someone else's and the image puts something bitter on the back of my tongue
I imagine you sweeping back hair that doesn't curl rebelliously at your fingers, insisting your hand stay with them
Words wet with dismay stick to my dry throat and if I could cough them out thered be nothing but different configurations of "stay"
I imagine your lips covering some spectre of a woman who is not me and I am amazed by the vastness of my hate

I remember the warmth of your chest as you pressed into my side, crowded me to the table, and my heart leapt into my throat
I couldn't think past awareness of you, felt you down my spine and into my shoes
That little was enough to do to leave me gasping
I'd be frigid if I insisted I could ever do without it

I remember kissing the mouthpiece of a roll and inhaling acrid smoke and you pressed the tip of your spliff to my lips before I had finished coughing and
Chased smoke like it was an ever-distant horizon vanishing into my chest
I am a ruined woman, stuck dreaming and waiting, there's humiliation that comes with this sort of infatuation

You get me tense, keep me constantly on the precipice of something, torso dangling over a railing, always threatening the possibility of free fall
I can hardly deal with my day to day humanity, the depravity you spark is beyond me and my meager means of processing

You look at me and I feel distinctly underdressed, publicly indecent, unnecessarily yearning as though I've never once known decorum
I fumble as I rarely do, trip over words like they're untied shoes, and my heart is imprinted under the press of your thumb
I've caught myself often wondering if I am merely imagining the heat of the summer and I am roasting in your company
My skin oversensitive, my heart aches with fresh burns, but when you leave I freeze and claw you back to me

The way that my mind, ever caterwauling, overthinking, shaking is so immediately quiet and still to give your voice room
That the world narrows to a point and the buzz of reality fades and I can focus on you
That the fear I cradle is smothered by the weight of your consideration
There's so much that qualifies as perfection that its unfamiliarity makes me consider running from whatever it is brewing between you and me.
hello again
Written by
Q  North Carolina
(North Carolina)   
   Imran Islam
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