I saw a burning house on a hill top visible in my bathroom window where I would drown my head in iced water / I can smell the screaming woods curling up their arms in the red sky / the moon / an orange peel in the north / my blanch hands pray to the Santo Niño in our living room altar / I stare at the back of my eyelids / trying to find an answer / a beacon / a king I could kiss dirtily / a kind of self-harm / but instead I find a hundred pieris butterflies flittering around like house dust / as a somber cello hums in my left ear / I cry virgin mary tears when I suddenly find four palms pressed to mine / thanatos kisses me gently / delicate and clean / then he and his brother hypnos invite me to sleep in their bedroom and it was revolutionary / my friend asked me this afternoon if I loved myself and I answered —
the first time I fell in love I watched
him don his grandfather’s rosary and
kiss it three times / then tells me he
likes the white birthmark on my left
thigh / I tell him it’s the only thing my
father has left me in his will / I hand
him this heart that burgeons with
holy heat / a sacramental offering / he
puts it on his tongue then swallows it
whole, smiles at me with blood-stained
teeth / his skin bruises easily like soft
fruit / So I dig my thumb into his hand,
birthing a castoff / he says: “that was really hot”
I think the moment was cataclysmic –
a dog-teethed long-fingered wide-hip
boy and girl just girl nothing girl girl.
am a novice to girls who love hollowed out boys.
I leave him with the wolves and
crawl back to this place called home.
I search for his vacant hand, but he is nowhere to be seen
and so, I occupy the space between my own.
Art by Pride Nyasha Mapfumo
Pride Nyasha Mapfumo (1993) is a Zimbabwean male artist and expressionist painter whose work seeks to explore the emotions that arise from the dynamic nature of love and relationships. He received his degree in Applied Science (Architectural Studies) from Curtin University in 2016. A couple of months later, he launched himself as a freelance artist and designer. www.pridenyasha.com | Instagram: @pride_nyasha
Amy Lafrankie is a young Filipino-American poet and growing writer living in the Philippines. Her has previously appeared in Ascend Magazine, TrackFour Journal, Murmur Journal, and elsewhere.