He wants to. Kiss my neck. Cup my breasts. Hold my thighs between his hands. I tell him no. Not today. Not tonight. Not. Right now. I turn away when he holds me. Cringe when his breath. Gets too close to my skin. He wants to know. What’s wrong. Why I prefer bed sheets against my hips. To the rub of his fingertips. Why I smile at the rain on my face. But not at the dew of his lips on my cheeks. My body has become soft. Fruit. Plum breasts. Overripe honeydew butt. Browned apple belly. Peeled banana arms left out on the counter too long. So much of me sags. But this is not. Why I hold my body close when he tries to u n r a v e l it. All day. My baby claws at my neck. My face. My cheeks. My thighs. And my breasts. Her rice patty hands press and palm into me. I am dough and she a bread maker. Her runny nose gnaws at my ear. And blesses me. Her mouth gums my face. And it tickles. Eating my chin. Taking a fist full of my hair in her hands. She devours me. I am hers. And I don’t even breastfeed. But, there is no more me. To give. At the end of everyday. No more skin. To skin. I want to just sit. In my own. Without another hand. On the places of me. I used to enjoy. And listen. To my body. Breathing.
Jasminne Mendez is a poet, educator and award winning author. Mendez has had poetry and essays published by or forthcoming in The Acentos Review, Crab Creek Review, Kenyon Review, Gulf Coast, The Rumpus, and others. She is the author of two poetry/prose collections Island of Dreams(Floricanto Press, 2013) which won an International Latino Book Award, and Night-Blooming Jasmin(n)e: Personal Essays and Poetry(Arte Publico Press, 2018). She is a 2017 Canto Mundo Fellow and an MFA candidate in the creative writing program at the Rainier Writer’s Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University. You can find more info about her and her work at: www.jasminnemendez.com
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