Photo Finish

I'm not nervous
not really
it's not like I've never done this before
I've just never gone this far
it is a nice house
I put my things in the bedroom
In the living room, the fire penetrates
to the back of my knees
it is time
what would grandfather think, I giggle, lifting
my dress over my head
I drape my dress over a chair
trying not to tremble,
not to sweat
in the kitchen?
of course, the light is better there
my bare back and bottom against the cool wood
olive flesh ridged against maple grain
how's this?
"That's nice, I like that, hold it . . ."
your voice
I look up to meet eyes
I hadn't noted before
deep and sky blue
I soften
move easier
feel the encouraging compliments
hear them sing with the Bonnie Raitt background
I begin to enjoy
you take me home
crack me open like eggs into a bowl
lying needy upon my breasts
words poke at my belly
until it aches with emptiness
"Consume me," you beg
and I take you in
reluctant but wanting
we tear into each other
greedily ripping off chunks of insignificant flesh
prying away layers covering the core
impatient with process
we drill holes through our secret selves
pour one another into champagne glasses
and toast the New Year
by morning
you solidify
as if fated by Medusa
and those precious pools
so deep and sky blue
once brimming with promise
are as blank as the 8 by 10 matte photos of me
which hang naked and lifeless on your walls
I must leave you
what else can I do
I only wish I could get the living bits of you
out from under my fingernails

-- Jamie Cotton

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