“Honeymoon Suite / Dreaming” by Nkatha Obungu
I am an errant fire truck; scarlet engine; slipping brake pads,
rearing to slam into the trenches of your tightly-reined desire,
but my fervor frightens your Anglican fancies of subdued rapture
and you retreat into a mask of passivity; startled exodus,
Smothered shock at the flight of purse-lipped virgin from idealized halo,
You’re staring down the demons of Nephthys
as you try to remember if you mis-invoked her when you nibbled on my neck;
But even then, my skin was already coming apart; quicksand
trapping your teeth to sink into a red sea that you
did not know how to part;
Could not know how to part;
and so now
we lie side by side in pools of unchastised silence,
Sending dangerous vibrations to the ceiling.
In the shadowed hours after I have licked soap bubbles
trapped in the netted hairiness of your torso,
I dream that Janus has slipped into your mouth
and tilted your smile into a downward curve
of displeased dissent.
Sharp fangs sprout from misplaced dentata
Juxtaposed on androgynous replications
of the messy wetness that smears
the plum-stained beds of emotion we writhe in.
My name is a waterfall on your lips;
Even when you roar in pain,
Especially when you roar in pain.
As your bones snap one by one
Under the illumination of a sturgeon lunar
your eyes turn yellow with lunatic need.
I’m the paws you scratch against cellared stone,
Hunting down warm-blooded, rust-scented necks
that taste of self-immolation.
Tearing past linked chain into tender flesh.
The gurgling strangulation of bubbling anima;
Final leaps off infernal cliffs
rouse me to screaming streams of consciousness.
You beg me not to unrescue you,
And just now I realize
Our respective hells are sentries clutching onto twisted hilts of clashed spears,
The only respite; sleepless embrace.
Nkatha Obungu (@nkay9) is a lawyer and writer. She recently contributed to the “When Women Speak” Brainstorm Kenya e-book and blogs at Etchings on the Mirror.
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