“This is how you kiss me,
hard, your hand on my throat.
Your tongue slides along my teeth.
It feels like the wing
of a small bird on my lips.
Your mouth moves over my skin,
and like a magnet
brings to the surface
the parts of me that are real.
My body in fragments, the pieces of me wet.
You put me back together,
a mosaic you design from my remains.
This is my offering.
I kneel before you, no longer broken.
Your body, the curve of your arm,
the tightness of your thigh,
is the altar where I learn to pray.
Take it, you say. All of me.
I take the part of you
that is unforgiving and hard,
the part of you that carries
the secrets and dreams
of the women you have loved.
I feel your chest rise and fall,
at first slowly, then fast and deep.
You become still,
the way lake water calms
before a windstorm.
My voice breaks, Come, I whisper.
I am baptized, a sinner cleansed in holy water.
You are the wafer on my tongue.
You taste like warm rain and salt,
something the spirit created
to tempt me and keep me thirsty.
I find redemption in the way
the taste of you lingers,
and in the outline of your mouth
when you smile.”