cotton in the air
by derrick brown
Your polished back is arched like Saint Louis.
I can see your fingers pushing into the bricks
when I lift your hair
to smell October drain from your neck.
You are cotton caught in the air
I am unfurling laces in your body.
I move on you steady like a fleet of ships pushing ice.
I want to break it all.
Your tank top strap slips down the huh huh of your shoulder
and I will not strain meaning from this.
I have to taste all of your shapes with my teeth,
circles of salt
Waltzing a wrecking ball.
I lift your body so that your legs strap to my hips and you
are now adorned.
I toss you around the room because I don’t want to be inside;
I want to walk through you.
So I can know.
I am wading in the dark felt Tijuana paintings of your hair.
I am molting my bed clothes uncoiling towards Sahara.
All I want to do is hot lust you into dead sweat.
To watch your legs, those bent sickles,
to watch them shake
like poisoned wrens.
I am gnashed and dazzled.
Smother me in the exhausted thrust of your yes. . . .
as exploding laundromats.
You will be rough-balanced and throne-sucked and
A straggler you can’t shake from your open-air lava solo.
May I be the image you turn to
when you are heaving alone,
burning like Halloween in Detroit?
I am breathing up your legssssspitting at the hiding nightingale.
Drift your breasts into my mouth
and I will be that doped up, spinning victrola.
La la la la la la.
I want to make love to you while you’re wearing figure skates
until the hardwood floors are toothpicks.
I want to kiss your throat in a dressing room with my hands
bound around your voice.
I want you to leave your boots on in your apartment
so we march our bodies across the ceiling
and confuse the neighbors.
I don’t care if you made that dress,
I will shred it until you look deserted.
You’re as restless as a New Orleans graveyard in a storm
with the coffins boiling up to the surface.
That’s all this writing is. You are across from me and the
soup is cooking.
I sit up all night listening to your dental records.
I will teach you of exorcism and screw the hell out of you.
I will carry your steam in my mouth.
Daydreaming of the evening of loud struggle.
Call my name—I will cascade like a suicide.
I will fall upon you like a box of fluorescent bulbs
dropped from a five-story building.
I will do anything you ask. . . .
unless I have been drinking; then it is opposite day.
I can’t believe you can sleep through all this.
Chunks of brick in your fingernails.
Mortar on your pillow
A bomb shelter
sketched on your skirt.
oh my god, to write like this. i want to marry this man.