by carrie addington
All night I am a plastron, sulked down inside
my bony plate, armored.
I would like to play something sweet
on an instrument for you. Not because
you like music
and not because I play music,
because it seems like something
lovers do for one another.
I would like to watch you sleep,
let the roundness of our corners hold on
to that which spools around
our shells, but you won’t fall asleep
so easily or for too long, and I can’t wait
for the time it takes you
to drag your eyelids down
and around every edge of me. I have already begun
the falling off. You see, I crave it
and when I want it, it takes me into the clasp
of its vice, peels off all the rind, ringing me
clean of pulp and seed. I would like to
shove you into all the corners of my mouth.
Let the darkness shatter the teeth of the day, leaving
the tongue to welter and writhe
under the sweetness of whisky and licking,
counting your stuttered breath, dragging breath
through whole hallways of you,
breath shackled to that boiling pool buried deep
in the belly’s undertow. Throughout the day, we cling
to whatever is in our pockets because
we have that need to curl our fingers, our palms,
our entire hands to cusp and clutch, because in watching
each other—in wanting each other—we need
to touch something.
Carrie Addington's poems have appeared in Poet Lore, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, American Literary Review, The Collagist, RHINO, Waxwing, and others. She is the recipient of the Virginia Downs Poetry Award, the American Literary Review Poetry Award, and a Pushcart nominee. She is currently completing her manuscript titled, The Beauty Machine, which uses her tenure working in the beauty industry as a lens for viewing the world and relationships around her.