Pompeii

Laura Page

I held you here, between my teeth.

I slid you under my tongue, safe 
from words denoting Time. I imagined

we were god’s own quiet fricatives,
& when He held us in his cheek,
He could feel our singing.

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He could feel our singing

as we tossed pennies into the fountain,
rubbing emotion from palms 

on denim-clad thighs.
Your delicate horseshoes, your sweet tooth,
& wishes I made still stain my hands.

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Wishes I made stain my hands.

Plum & sweet well water & 
knees deciding your ribcage,

I conceded the peach bud, 
All wooly igneous and milk.
Exhale.

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Inhale:

The sky’s big fonts peeling 
skin off the water. Our tongues

all summerblunt.
You were under a long time.
The lakebed was a rocking pelvis.

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The lakebed was a rocking pelvis,

a caldera furred like a womb,
sand-drawn mouths on every stone.

I’ll admit your holy 
was the thirstiest I’ve ever been.
The most honeyed, most spilt,

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I’m honeyed and spilt,

rearranging the bones 
of the lovers of Pompeii in my head. 

Pretenses of holding:
her kneecaps in his lower vertebrae; 
carpals scattered in her ribcage.

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Scattered in my ribcage,

fence posts forgiving 
all the sides they separate—.

grief is not belied by joy.
I won’t choose between buttercup & bane,
nux & claritas.

 
 
 

about the writer

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Laura Page is the author of epithalamium, selected by Darren C. Demaree as the winner of the Sundress Publications 2017 chapbook contest. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Rust + MothCrab Creek ReviewThe FanzineTinderbox Poetry JournalHuman/KindBone BouquetThe HungerMaudlin House, and other publications. Page, also a visual artist, lives in the Pacific Northwest, and is founding editor of the poetry journal Virga.

 
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