You Gotta Go There to Come Back


Once, on a church trip, we groped for each other
in the backseat of the bus. I felt your hands
searching, fingers sliding in between my bra

and the freckled skin of my shoulders. You played
with white lace before the strap fell, then made a map
of my skin with your mouth. Everything was blurry.

Lights outside flooded through the windows. Suddenly
there was only your breathing, sounding more and more,
and mine, held too long, releasing abruptly,

choking on the stale air inside the bus. I wanted
the moment to hold. Your lips roamed my messy
hair, forearms pressing into my upper back,

fingertips clinging so hard I felt white marks forming.
In my dream I watched our town fill with water.
We were together when the flood began,

but rushing currents ripped us apart. You floated
away and all I could see were your two
eyes, searching the diamond-capped waves.

With Just the Door Ajar

I imagine your rugged mouth
perusing my neck, which curves
to meet these lips after a day’s work

—we move against the grain,
like light that filters through thick,
gray clouds, houses for storms.

*

Intertwined
hesitantly,
our hands,
sweating like a
star-fruit:
two seas
of soft pulp, pulsing
with the need to be
together.

*

Your face cradled
in my palms
breath bleeding         fog on my neck.

*

Beyond the walls
separating our bodies,

you are a manicured
square of land.

I am a plane flying
into the sirens.


_______________________________________

Emily Thomas is originally from Southern California but currently resides in Boston, MA where she teaches writing at Emerson College, Boston Architectural College, and Bunker Hill Community College. Her work has or will appear here and there, and somewhere in between.