I recognize that snakelike gait of yours anywhere. The wrists you were given are too thin— if I broke your hands, your mother would hate me. I’m too rough. I’m not sensitive the way she likes. Am I too much like your father? I’m really sorry, because I believe my mouth was born to explore you.
There aren’t many peach farms in Washington, only rain and the overgrown maple on my lawn. Sleep under it with me and I’ll slice a peach for you, skin it, and feed you the sweetness of it; I’ll grow it from my own hands. I learned how to do it for you. Sink with me at the bottom of our pool, until we’re ten feet under chemicals, until our eyes are burning red, until I can hold you without the whir of our doom.
Look, see. Stop what you’re doing to notice my open chest, the flesh wounds from your hands, how they sliced me open raw. I don’t know what happened there. Sorry. The sun is out and your mouth is like Ambien; it makes my mind work better.
The truth is that I think my bones can speak to me. They only ache when your skin is warm against mine. When the light through the window is a grid of honey and shadow, when words escape your lips and flowers bloom where they land. I’m no good at explaining myself. Please trust me when I tell you the tide pulls with you, that the moon knows you like her own son.
Let’s not talk. I want to be tender, but maybe I’m not. I left a peach on the front steps.
Shyla Jones is a black writer from Boston, MA. She is currently working on a novel. You can find more of her work at shylajones.com and on Twitter at @imnotshyla.