anyway, I realize I’ve been the only one talking--
and your arm is curled
around my waist, but you’re not holding
me. I put my shirt on, borrow your lipstick,
and sit at your bedroom mirror
to paint my mouth like yours,
pretending a piece of your kiss still
lives in the pink. The red
of my cheeks has dulled to an empty blush.
I grab a cigarette from the pocket
of your jeans that are crumpled on the carpet.
I place the damned thing between my teeth
and the flame accompanies my breath
with the only noise inside the these walls.
With my pink lips around the perimeter,
I realize my kiss keeps you
from missing her.
from your stomach to your back,
staring at my silence. We both
watch the smoke from my fingers and mouth rise
into nothing, slowly disappearing between my breaths
again and again and again.
You ask for a hit, so I sit
near the indention of your bare hips
on the mattress and I place the unlit end
in your mouth. I lay beside you--
my own will against your indifferent stillness--
and place my empty hand
over your heartbeat. Though my body
is against your skin, there is a distance
between us, like a mouth that never closes:
I’m the trembling bottom lip bitten
by silence— a locked jaw that doesn’t want to let go.
You’re the unmoving upper lip,
only shifting when you’re hungry.
She’s the cigarette at our center:
keeping you warm,
but burning me.
Iris Summerlin is a twenty-year-old writer of poetry, prose, and music. She has spent the last several years of her life creating and sharing her writing that is heavily influenced by romance, spirituality, and mental health. She values the power of language and the universal experience of love and art. She is currently pursuing a BSc in Psychology. She lives by her own motto: "I am burning with passion and I hope you are melting."