Shade, by Heather Nelson
I have no name for the look in your eyes-
blackness is the last thing I’ll mention
and then only in terms of obsidian and ebony,
in terms of interiors and privileged pornography.
I see nothing but ice-cream in the pockets
housed outside your shirt. Nothing but pistachio,
dripping with lavender, flowing into a bowl of vanilla.
Your ear I’ll call a nautilus, your hair threads of blood-
red woven tightly into your texture, circles the nipple, smudges the lips.
Your weary phrenology, I read as a novel
you remain invisible, named after my fear.
To keep on looking tests my mettle- your lifted shirt looks like a noose.
Your back remains hidden- seeded with scars?
You’d hate me if you knew what I hope for
Turn around and let me see
the tree of absolution.
Heather Nelson: "I am a poet, teacher, mother and recovering attorney based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I studied writing under the poet C.D. Wright as an undergraduate at Brown University. Most recently I have studied poetry with Tom Daley and Barbara Helfgott Hyett. My work has appeared in Ekphrastic, The Compassion Anthology, Lyrical Somerville, "The Sunday Poet" (a feature of the Boston Area Small Press and Poetry Scene) and Constellations. I am a member of Poemworks, the workshop for publishing poets."
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