‘The Stitch is Lost Unless the Thread is Knotted’ by Aya Haidar
Dancer Adjusting Her Slipper by Edgar Degas (1873)
An Ode to the Ice Cube You Slipped Into My Mouth
by Shinji Moon
The fireflies are hiding bombs beneath their wings
and everything we touch is breaking a sweat. Yes,
this May. Yes, to these Junes. The margarine spread thin
on your bagel. The way my fingertips always smell like
watermelon and limes, cigarettes and sex. Yes, to the
weeping glass cold against our foreheads. To these months
that pool wet against each other. The hot tongues of asphalt.
The curtains of rain you pull me through to kiss me square
on the lips. Yes. To the way we peel the blue husk of dusk
until our mouths are full of light. Full of star kernels. How we
believe, for this while, that we can wipe constellations
on the front of our pant legs without consequences,
drive through windy roads with a cold beer in our hands,
believing that nothing could kill us. Not even death.
So yes. To how our bodies are
bloated with water. How our laughter carries itself in the head of a
mosquito. To the way we make love with the windows open while the
lawnmowers crackle and shave the earth barbershop clean. Yes
yes. To how we scrape moonlight off the sidewalk with our shoes,
skip stones into one another’s mouths and imagine that this what
it must’ve been like to do so as a child. To the excuses we make
to shed our clothes and laugh, our dresses flung over backs of patio
furniture, diving into water with the lingerie we stole in Paris. How we let the
boys look. How we never let them touch. Yes, this rain. Your golden arms.
Yes, the way our stories can’t hurt us here. Not in this heat.
Not with all this slow. This after. This unfinished.
Not with the elephant in the room having been killed for its tusks.
No, for we can no longer look in the mirror without seeing another living thing
inside of us, eyes burning. An acid tongue. How it has whittled
our bones into flutes. How we can no longer sleep without hearing the slow
song of the dead trying to reclaim their stories. Using our bodies for
kindling. For killing. To test out what the children now call love.