2023-2024, Short Story, Writing

labor of love.

labor of love.
Gabby McNally, '24

you are the cold side of a queen bed; 
the sole thing my hand brushes against 
aside from hope.
i wake up with last night’s toothache 
in a dream you around my spine, 
asleep i stay

(first sight of red eyes, tears of sleep running horses. 
tame them. more awake, more volatile. split
the head open to be something loved.)

want; a feeling indescribable;
i am stripped down to coffee grinds spilled 
on porcelain
standing opened by beaming broad palms. 
you seek love from the shine in my eyes
it is your own.

(get hands on something. touch to be touched.
be painted in the image of a voyeur to be seen.
the heart hammers hungrily, eaten alive by love.)

you are the burning house that blinds me; 
an unstable flame, heart pulsing raw
a screen of smoke
we beg for softness, to set fire to
are all the men that we hate, the ones 
 i cannot leave.