Veins of Marble

By Haley Walsh

He leaned over long enough for me to count his vertebrae and dig my nails into his nervous system
And when neither of us were looking we tied ourselves to one another like splints. I’m at my best when I’m far away.
I’m Mount Olympus feeding on your fear of climbing me and finding your gods.
Come in, let me grip your spine while you find my warmth,
but your bare skin and bed sheets would freeze and we’d lose each other in frozen breath and cigarette smoke.
Instead he walked my perimeter for years not interested in my summits but intent upon my valleys.
And so when no one was looking I beckoned him in and cried nectar on his wounds.
I was drunk on the idea that there is something beneath the floor tiles, the dirty dish water, the cook’s placid stare;
Something under the thick layer of spilt chemical solvent, the a little too sarcastic response, the thick hair graying too early;
Something so large we can’t even see it, that will rattle the dishes with the sheer vibrations of its being, that will start my internal pilot light.
But I don’t give a shit anymore.
I just want to suck the honeydew and nicotine off his fingers
and die alone sweating ambrosia.