The Maynard
Spring 2016

Taylor Supplee


I have something
I’m afraid
I’m afraid to tell you,

so I’ll chameleon into
the breath-gray sheets,
the breath-gray sheets, the vanished sienna
of borders between our hips
pulling tidal.
The moon draws opalescent water into orbit.

After dinner, we laugh
at the salsa stain surprised
on your white shirt,
on your white shirt, the red I’ll steal
with my tongue and give

to your tongue whatever
fruit that could be
bleeding there as I unlace

just enough
just enough of your corset flesh
and open you down
the length of spine where
just enough I see
the perfect red of an arrow
dipped into a humming bird, carmine

like lightning, and I can’t
like lightning, and I can’t let go. Our hands
unstitch what they shouldn’t

and you swan into an arc of snow
and you climaxing
and we in the mirror could be
and we anyone else looking blue through it
and light fractures beyond prism, beyond
and light the spectrum
and light no longer hidden

when I can no longer
hold them in my stomach, the words
curling caustic vomitus.

I have something I’m afraid
to tell you.

We stop, and you
look at me with eyes
the color before the sun, eyes
that I imagine see
that I imagine see in me

a carnation of rusted blood in a syringe
or some unnamed, scarlet boy
or a fever that won’t blush for years
or a fever inside our undone bodies,

and I say the most unforgivable thing,
coming transparent
coming transparent out of breath, out of skin,
out of the timid violet of my
insides exposed to simply hold you, and you

say the same curse
back to me.