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Billie R. Tadros


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Your tongue pulses the well of my body,
a desperate throbbing heart. I pound wanton
for what you look like wearing your organs
outside your pearlbone corset. Ungodly
in slices of Susquehanna Valley
moonlight, all lavender, slick, apparent,
you are easier to touch, ribs unbent
and beckoning like morningsong, and we
can rob each other’s cavities this way,
opened and primed for taking, your angry
red meat, my carnal hunger for your blight
carbon. Your jawbones latched, you try to say
love but it keeps coming out evolve me.
Soon we’ll find we’re rotting from the outside.


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Like light through a transparent medium
you angle in incident, redirect,
curve and curl inward like fingers in sex
or around the stem of wine crystal, some
sordid circus trick, all bending exits,
all distorted mouths all screaming entry,
vacuum invitations, and you want me
but there’s no point of—origin, exist—
just ever-arcing and the ricochet
of your body against its fiberglass
walls, flexion, flight contained in chrysalis
form, you are your own entrapment kiss.
Seep me within your hourglass
stall till I shape to your sides, warp and fray.


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You’re twisty and all winding, warm and wet,
and like a cheap pine shelf, I absorb you,
I absolve you of your ruin. Soak through,
I’ll pretend it’s nutritive. I’ll abet
your mode and moat of destruction, pooling
yourself in my center till the bottom
drops out. You are my warbling siren song
breaking mirror glass. Now I’m seeing things.
It’s your wily curvature, all gentle
arcs to jagged points, the slope of the knife,
the deadly bend of the highway on-ramp,
off-ramp, your smile in the treacherous lamp
light a false invitation, a love rife
with warning, undertow: distortion pull.


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Think of horsehair, a violin bow rent
and scraping a melody: this is how
you call to me, asking for shreds, and now,
forked I spread myself, your fissure event,
your diverging, your halved understanding
of song, splintered. Think evergreen needles
parted to hang your tokens, and, seedless,
the remnants weeping to the floor, meaning
everything you plant splits like wood, the ax
of your lustmetal driving trunk ripples
until I can’t count, quantify the rot,
or seek bloom. This is everything you’re not
as the wholeness of forests. This love fells
a plundered harvest. You, love, sap the wax.

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