Caterpillars slurp the soup of their own bodies to grow
and I can’t imagine we were told
that you have to eat your skin and stomach and heart
to become something beautiful.
I want to read you poetry but your thumb bears down on my lip
to expose sharp-wet bone
and I’m starving, so I want to bite clean through
until you’re gushing copper and salt on my tongue.
I don’t, but I think about it.
I think about devouring your heart but I won’t even taste myself on your fingers in case I’m not any good.
I think maybe kissing with our eyes closed means we’re paying attention
or we’re afraid of seeing each other
or we just want it warm and dark and quiet while we eat.
You tell me this is bigger than us—this is longing with the lights out
and you’re trying to take it all in without drowning.
It seems selfish, taking it all, so I don’t.
I let you have it instead
and wonder if my insides are enough to drown in
and I think maybe you want to
because you haven’t been taught how to swallow.
With every stroke we’re unzipped, oil-slick
soft light spilling out
until I don’t know whose breath I’m holding,
until I’m holding nothing at all.