Three Poems by MK Chavez
What I Might Carry in the Small Cave of My Mouth
Malcontent forked my tongue.
It’s a mystery spot.
“How do you do that?”
That was the first question.
And then the statement:
“You’ve got a mouth on you.”
I tie cherry stems.
My mouth is a shady place.
The very tool that served as proof—
it got the witches burned.
It has licked and licked. It’s electric tipped.
The animal you meet before the beast dentata.
The cave you lower yourself into because the risk is low
or so you think.
How to Write a Love Letter
I thought about you today. It was a day
like any other day except that I saw a Komodo
dragon eating a bunny. The dragon’s smirk
reminded me of you, and it made me think
about your teeth, and the feel of cold enamel
against the fleshy part of my thigh.
I didn’t think about you today.
When I thought of you today, I thought of a nest
of baby starlings, the translucent featherless
flesh of their gullets stretched towards the sky
begging to be fed.
Today is a milky gray day. The sky is bereft
of hope and I thought about how your body looked
stretched across the once clean sheets of my bed
after we’d had sex. I could remember the sharpness
of your bones poking through flesh, jaw, elbow, &
kneecap, and how there was no softness to you at all.
Last night I dreamt of you. I was trapped in a house
with a million rooms, you were behind each door.
It was the end of the world and I was trying
to save the children. I thought of you when I woke
alone in my bed, said your name out loud &
waited, smiling into the silence.
The world is cold as salamanders. Mean while a kiss comes along and there’s a tremor in June. The lover says this pot is black is beautiful. Together, we remember how good it is to strut. We encircle the fauve. Come all to see our somewhat fractured & shiny reflection. Our sex is imbued with the politics of rosaries. When imagining us, see Eros the bittersweet. We surpass the unreachable, ricochet the connotation of the solitary red fruit. How a loaded mouth fingers the trigger. We are the secret urchin, this is our place in history. Despite it all. I like how we look. What a turn on, I don’t mind being the abomination. It could be fun to drink tea from a fur lined cup
© MK Chavez
MK Chavez is the author of Virgin Eyes (Zeitgeist Press) Visitation, Next Exit #9 (with John Sweet), and Pinnacle (Kendra Steiner Editions). Recent and upcoming work can be found in Eleven Eleven, This is Poetry, and Culture Magazine. She has been a fellow at Squaw Valley Writers Conference, Antioch Writers Workshop, and VONA. She is co-founder/co-curator of the Berkeley-based monthly reading series Lyrics & Dirges and co-organizer of the annual Berkeley Poetry Festival.
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