Author: Brandi L. Perry

Your hands cradle the steeple of your bare feet,

I imagine crawling over to you, falling
together on the carpet, my hair covering
your face, finding that line where the beer ends
and the taste of you begins. My hand sliding
down your flannel shirt, while they discuss
the mechanics of doing the lioness on a cheese grater
Ours is the kind of lovemaking that could start a war.
And then I remember my body and that our
union would look nothing like how I have imagined.
I am not supposed to desire someone like you,
or anyone really. I return home to my
husband, abstain from sex because it’s late
and I fear that I might say the wrong thing.

 

Contributor’s Notes: Brandi L. Perry is a third-year M.F.A. student in Creative Writing at the University of South Carolina. She is a James Dickey Fellow and an inaugral SPARC Fellowship Awardee. Presently, she is working on her first collection of poetry, which focues on retelling and reclaiming myths and fairy tales.

He doesn’t touch her at night

as though to do so would break
the chrysalis that houses her heart,
encloses it in bright sea glass layers.

He doesn’t sense her gathering
of pain, trapping it in her body
like a butterfly in a jar, lest
it would actually reach her heart,
the red rawness underneath
fragile enough that the barest
of caress would tear it open.

She was afraid of what would spill
out, dark things that slither, writhe,
the reason for hiding her heart
from him in the first place.

 

Contributor’s Notes: Brandi L. Perry is a third-year M.F.A. student in Creative Writing at the University of South Carolina. She is a James Dickey Fellow and an inaugral SPARC Fellowship Awardee. Presently, she is working on her first collection of poetry, which focues on retelling and reclaiming myths and fairy tales.