For many years desire was like raspberry gum jellied
on the dark belly of a slatted park bench: soft
with sweetness in another’s wet mouth; hard,
dirty, & sinful in mine. A minor crime. At the very least
buried beneath. But now, see, I want this:
explosion of thick, gooey flavor, my name
chewed gently to a thaw of bruised berry
& my heart a lush hothouse of breath.
Want to scoop all the flame-shot, crackling jewels
from my body and spill them into your spread hands,
your hands flaming & searching, silken & curious
as you warm them between my clenched thighs,
& I want that, tremble and cry of a naked blue sky
that the lightning unzips to poured thunder,
and that, the steady hammering of rain afterwards,
the roads scintillating, ablaze with shatter of diamond chips,
slow drizzle dislodging the milk teeth of mountains,
sudden tempest that renders day keening & speechless.
I want it, the gentle avalanche of your body blanketing
the soil of mine. To be buried, arms flung in haphazard
surrender, to be gentled by rain of your touch.
You asked, Do you want this? And this?
My flesh blurred to river, to rush.
My mouth a caress, I said yes.
Esther Ra is a bilingual writer and illustrator from Seoul, South Korea. She is the author of book of untranslatable things (Grayson Books, 2018) and the founder of The Underwater Railroad, a literary reunification project. Her work also has been published in Boulevard, Rattle, The Rumpus, Twyckenham Notes, and Korea Times, among others. She has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Pushcart Prize, the 49th Parallel Award, and the Sweet Lit Poetry Prize. Read more of her work at estherra.com.