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College of Arts and Sciences


By: Gabrielle Villacres

you were never sealed together quite right. born disjointed, 
you are what is left of my odyssey back to nature, demi-glace 
that drips off my teeth and through my bones. 
where i wanted to go but i didn’t.  
i love you as dark comely things should be loved: in silence. 
between the lemon flowers i never let unfold  
and brown fingers that circled my ringlets like feathers.  
you are loud. you groaned constantly. filled me up  
with the indecision of each floorboard beneath pink feet. 
long ago your stucco felt entwined with the cracks in my palms 
and even now i am none the wiser: the curl of water through your windows 
dredges silt from my eyes and arches through my skin 
where i do not exist, and neither do you. 
but still we remain  
coiled together  
as if you hear me from far away,  
immortalized like the word Child. 
sometimes i like for you to be absent.  
familiar in your distance, we fasten to each other like tongues 
knotted in opposition. 
it reminds me you are not with me. 
ossified by the obscenities of sinlessness, 
you were gone before i had time. 
in hushed buzzes and black tangles, 
hollows of myself shifted like god and the sun. 
echoes of my bare feet gallop across your sealed chin  
into the fawns’ frost, through the riverbank  
that wreathed your great arena  
of mothers, fathers and sisters. 
and in this polluted whitening of your trees, 
i see you like a mouthpiece for my dead, 
feel every jammed door is yours.  
when the night shatters like rings to my face  
you stand between me and imposters 
who try to bend beneath my feet, 
and attend to the petals of winter  
that attempt to settle behind glass  
blown over my body. 
i bloomed within the strike of flames across your indoor rain. 
we share these trenches in our skin like firelight shares the shape 
of its shadow, abundant in our red cries that coughed a world away 
like guttural laughs, deep and slow but peeled apart. 
you let the sunbeams that shock through my body 
pierce the sovereign cascades of your cheeks  
and i hungered deep inside your belly, 
beat my way between your skin  
like chicken made to be spatchcocked and spineless. 
you were the concrete measure of my steps.  
i was dragged through and then away from you 
yet we remain bound like anchors to their chains: 
the way they fall in tandem, prowl for something to hold onto. 
i loved you like teeth  
armed against a constant fever. 
i will wait for you like a conductor as his train sleeps  
off somewhere else, nestled in tracks of hands clasped together, 
making itself a home for the little critters  
like all your hatches i no longer have the key for.  
my sleep wonders, will i ever come back? will it feel like dying? 
maybe you will always remember what was there: 
our rasps lifted together in sweet bouquets, 
how our time was like waiting for nothing. 
just white roots and sunbathing. 
that we were like always: a long exhale of the past 
little drops of forgetting, nights immense 
enough to swallow us whole, the sound of  
field crickets molting in the distance.  
loving you has taken so long.  
it has sealed your china to my chest; 
as though my ribs have flown away and buried magnets  
in me and you, sealed your mouth and shown me to exist without you 
in a place where our water does not touch  
where i sleep in my own complexity of roots and branches  
and all we taught each other rises from the earth beneath us 
plants itself neatly in the swipe of my face, the dip of your brow. 

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