Leave me here. Take your scarred hands away
from my hairline, its sweat
dripping like fresh water over stone.
You grab me like a lover, tender and forceful.
You make me the dust collecting
on the case of an old violin
that the musician hasn't played since
he dreamt he was ocean. You melt
my thighs into heavy cream. You lighten
your coffee with me, breathe in morning air
that does not believe in you. Gender, you are not
a moon hung over in Pittsburgh. You take
what you can get and send my silence
cross country—no money for tolls,
no phone numbers of old lovers, no maps
to live by. You cross your heart
like a broken guitar string, swing
your legs over my hip bones.
You make me a saddle, cold leather
of myself clinging to the back of this animal.
Gender, I want you to turn me to chain.
I want to be able to bleed you out without dying.
From choke - 2004 by Stacey Waite
Used by permission of the poet.