Even if you learn that trick with the cherry stem,
they won’t stay.
Your lovers will evaporate like water in a kettle boiled dry,
before the coffee is pressed,
before you are dressed,
because your mouth is a graveyard of kisses.
Other people’s teeth and tongues
pass between your stained lips to die.
Sighs of desire, of lies, of satisfaction, of lies, of promises, of lies
float like ocean debris on your saliva.
They don’t say your name because they don’t know who you are.
You don’t hear your name because you don’t know who you are.
Your bed is a container for the carcasses of caresses gone by,
the sheets are a museum displaying the ancient burial techniques of a lonely womyn:
hopes mummified in cotton, perfumed with stale cigarette smoke, sprinkled with cracker crumbs, matted in cat fur.
A night with you is more funerary rite than passion.
A knotted cherry stem is only a headstone in a place people are afraid to linger.
This work, “That Trick With The Cherry Stem” by Beth Murch, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.