Issue 14

Poetry: Elicia Reed


On the corner of Columbia
and tenth, tasting of part vodka, part cigarettes
I sip at the reach, crossing over
our smooth edges
creating a theory that language
has nothing to do with our lips.
                    Sweetbitter, impossible
                    to fight off,
                    creature stealing up.

Today the skies are clear,
mountains are fully detailed against a blue backdrop
of January. Eros would be proud.
Kissing was brilliant and
leaving was even better.
                    Longing strengthens
                    my desire.

I’d rather experience beautiful
than instant.
I’d rather know of you slowly
than have you wrap me up like a gift.
I’d rather feel your lips moving
as you meet me
than experience clouds against my flesh.
                    Odi et amo.

Your presence gives me hope.
your eyes are as soft as my bed
and they sparkle
like a river in the summer.
Although I have crossed
an edge, I know
I don’t know you.
                    Two were once
                    until Zeus split them.

Time tends to mend most rips.
My sewing machine is missing its foot.

Yesterday I came across an old Singer
needing a home. I took it.

Your sweet notes hem me up
my confidence is then
born of down comforters and lavender oil
with each embrace and creates
this language of holding

taking every step slowly
towards attraction–
the kind only poets fathom.
                    chains me. Desire
                    is poison.


The difference between knowing what you want,
feeling it, reaching for it
and having it–
That space found in owning and acquiring
desire vibrates under my feet
and through my waking bones
with the loud bass of a bus passing
through tunneled vision
requesting a stop untouched by fog
so that I may lose my love
in search of more,
a refreshed cup, topped off, warm
between my palms
and you under a pendant
hanging perfectly before my heart. The void
you left by leaving
is both a relief
and just a hole–though
there’s more room to move, this space
could be uncomfortable
and I long for you without shame–
as we are each others secret
and you darling,
are my anguishing habit.