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Yolk

Poetry & Prose | March 25, 2019

—After “Do You Speak Virgin” by Analicio Sotelo

 

This afternoon is some hell:

 

The sun, a proud prick, wears high-tops

and catches in my eye. An egg cracks

 

in my mind, glaire spilling over

into my tear ducts. My fists

 

clench. A sour wave springs to

my stomach, acidic as an apple core.

 

I’ll admit the following: it was this afternoon

and none of the others. Some thrill from the jut

 

of the hip. The soft neck. The powerful

jaw. Half-crumpled notes in the roof

 

of the mouth, careful in delivering

the verdict. That blinding scent

 

of old newspaper. I’m contained,

a yolk of yellow yearning.

 

Fork it over. The pink quirk of the lip. The

cold, pointed nose. The fingertips.

 

I’m not afraid of love.

 

I’m afraid of a forced smile and

a rusty laugh trapped

 

in the throat. A nervous, open

door and white-hot lights on

 

the stage. The heavy blue

blanket covering my legs.

 

I’m afraid of jumbled limbs and

kneaded dough. Bitter Jamaican

 

blue coffee in the morning that coats

the throat and sticks there all day.

 

You know what it looks like:

 

The reddish-yellow lump of romance,

heavy in the heart and stomping

 

in the arteries. The virgin is here

to tell you all the short-comings

 

of space. About the conversation between

bodies, the touching of two shadows on

 

the pavement. A hand to hold and moist

dirt to eat. Listen, I’ll admit the following:

 

it was this afternoon and then all of the

others. The same sun, with chapped lips and  

 

gaudy sneakers. The same ruddy reddish-yellow

of my cheeks. Have me on the

 

back-burner; I can stagger on the edge

of a moment and savor it forever—