What is a Man if Not a Moth with Rippling Muscles and a Great Ass? 1. I find you deep in Monongahela chopping wood for your stove. I am naked under my coat except for my boots, which weave a trail back where I came from. You tell me that's where I should go, and your voice is not a voice but an amalgam of sorrows in the shape of sound. Swing your axe behind your head and I long to be cleaved in two by your hands, big enough to block out the moon. I want them holding my thighs open against your flannel bedspread. Turn your eyes upon mine. They look like licking a wall socket feels, red and round as two painted coins. Invite me inside your cabin, I dare you, and I will saunter up the steps with my heart in my hands. I am not leaving until you get on your knees. I am going to make you fall in love with me. 2. You lean over my moonlit body like the Tower made flesh, crumbling between my legs and I become Babel built up against destruction. Let me speak in languages that don't exist yet, shedding my lace and velvet like a silver skin, a carapace. My exoskeleton gleams under crystalline light like the belly of an abalone shell. Acorns become trees, rain becomes rivers, I become a red jewel against your forehead. Grass tangles itself into baskets, sheep shear themselves, leaves whisper folktales to each other in the breeze. Moonlight turns to crystal through open windows, letting in cool forest air like a thousand invisible hands. They all touch me at once, leaving an unseen trail for you to follow across my belly. I am first-born and last-known but you see me under glassy light and I have you speaking in tongues against the whorl of my ear. 3. After, we stare into darkness shoulder to shoulder, my body small and pink against your illusory form. I throw a leg across your waist, you dig a huge clawed hand behind my knee and we soak in an easy silence. Tell me we can't keep doing this, but I was God-made for you to hold me like a dying star. Let me curl up in your body and sleep there. Pull me up over your body, I dip my tongue into the cleft of your sorrows where they taste like strawberries and sweet wine. My lips come away sticky/shiny like jam. Your eyes rake my body like two red spotlights, hands following in a slow progression of silky admiration. You make me shake from my bones to the top of by head to the tip of my starlit aura, arcing around me like Mary’s dripping halo. Put your big hands around my throat and I will show you what it’s like to fuck God. I am frivolous in my affection where you give love like drawing water from a well. Something of an animal purrs inside me when you touch my hot cheek with the backs of your fingers, stroking the barely there laugh lines beside my eye. 4. You live in the shadows of trees and rivers, I exist in the breath of dogs and a handful of blood. Be here with me now in moonlight and wood-smell, grass and pine and a feral darkness in the doorway. I want to keep you tucked into a locket like a braid of hair tied with a black velvet ribbon. I rub my cheek against the fur at your shoulder. I am going to show you what it’s like to be in love with an afterthought. Do you want to be my husband and hold me by the back of my neck? Or will you kneel before me and kiss the sharpness of my knees? Either way your mouth will be on me somewhere. 5. And when will I leave you? When dawn breaks like an egg over the mountains, trees sticky with golden yolk, I will slip on my coat and boots and slink out into forest and sound. I will go back the way I came, just like you told me, and when I get home I will press a kiss to the yellow-washed lantern on the front porch and leave the door unlocked for you.
Beeper Peddle is a writer and healer living on the East Coast. She lives with her partner and their beloved soul puppy. Beeper writes about sorrows, lies, and deep loves. When you read her work, you will dip down into her heart and end up in all manner of body parts. Should you find yourself reflected in these words, it is merely coincidence; however, it does not surprise her you share the same heart. Find her at bethpeddle.com and @beeperpeddle on Twitter and Instagram
Bunny Boisvert (she/her) is a poet from Florida. She has work forthcoming in Chaotic Merge Magazine. Find her on Instagram @bunny_poems.jpeg.