Two Poems from Rachel Bunting
for my brother
For a time, you forget the things you wish
you could remember – her homemade
vinaigrette with backyard-fresh herbs;
the bend of her wrist around the gear shift;
how easily she scars. Instead you remember
only that which you try hardest to forget:
the swollen softness around her eyes; her tired
fluttering hands, birds caught in a net.
It can’t be helped; leaving stays with you
always. Fuel clicks through the nozzle
to your tank, makes you think of how
she swallowed against the lump of tears
that climbed the back of her throat: your stinging
absence. Each stubbled kiwi at the market is her thin-
skinned, prickly hope. Standing before the urinal
at the movie theater, holding your own warm self,
you stiffen as you remember: her humid mouth
begging you to stay. You don’t understand this
sudden, sad arousal. But this is when you begin
to miss her so you skip the film, climb back
into your car and drive home to lonely sheets.
You think of her sugar cane skin as you rub
yourself raw, wish once more to turn
your body against hers, a copper key
in a copper lock, sparking, finally unlocking.
Imagine: a hot prickle, an almost-itch
ignites around your nipples. She bites
your fingers. You can feel her teeth
caterpillar your body. Imagine: this
is not a history lesson, she is real,
a tangible woman with a bible
name and dark voice. You are an animal.
under the flick-and-switch of her blood
red cord. You love the smell of leather
masks, anonymous eyes over the zipped
up mouth. Imagine you pretend to pay
for this, thrill at begging a stranger to hurt
you, again, another time, once more.
Imagine: this woman, someone you love,
someone you touch with tenderness, locking
you into the mahogany box, padding your
head against the leather, covering your face
in shadow and warmth as you gasp beneath her,
try to breathe, inhale the sweet perfume,
touch her every inch with your parched tongue.
Rachel Bunting is a born and bred South Jersey girl currently living between the Delaware River and the Pine Barrens. Her poems can be found in journals such as Wicked Alice, Boxcar Poetry Review and Weave Magazine. She recently bought a new car and promptly named it Kimber. Her website is here.