Since your silence scares me, be roadkill,
be oil spill, be the elevator that stalled
on its way down. Let me learn to love
the quiet; let’s learn to speak without noise.
And since I despise tight spaces, locked
doors, uncertainty: lock us in a room in the dark,
or in a storm shelter—love, take me
subterranean and then take me, let me
take you. You know odd numbers make me
nervous, so how about I ghost the five fingers
of my left hand over all seven bones of your neck?
If I’m bonnet, be breeze and blow me
away. But take me with you. If I’m blind,
be shuddering breath, be the sound you make
when I touch your chest. If I’m oak, be Spanish
moss so we can grow together, so I can grow
rings to give you, so you can wrap yourself
around me. If I’m weed, be gardener
and uproot me. If I’m week, be -end
so we can spend Sunday morning in bed,
so we can bake bread. If I’m night,
be nightlight so I can find you in the dark.
If I’m crocus, be rainfall, be honeybee
and, honey, come be with me.
This is a reprint of work originally published in Byzantium.
Despy Boutris is published or forthcoming in American Poetry Review, Copper Nickel, Colorado Review, The Adroit Journal, Prairie Schooner, Palette Poetry, Third Coast, Raleigh Review, Diode, The Indianapolis Review, and elsewhere. Currently, she teaches at the University of Houston and serves as Assistant Poetry Editor for Gulf Coast.