Poems by Elisabeth Horan & Bola Opaleke

In Your Skin, I Find my Home

I want to feel God’s teeth in my skin

The bone exposed; so white & agile
I am unafraid of consequence ~
paying dues for apathetic living

Lust is so easy to do with you; my
God, man, just look at you there—
doorway harbinger of my newest
temptation; limbs, like trees,

My mahogany treasures. It’s not all
about your body, nor mine –
look at the orgasmic meshing
of minds – feel my heart thump

Within your skull bone – a new home
God doesn’t know, or care –
the sour bite has gone
and your gums which


Gnaw on my flesh—

Are just perfection.

First Time Queen



Do you remember the time

you drank from my throat?

It had two holes….


Painted vermilion &

neon fistulas; lemon

drop walnuts plugged

an entire nation…


Lay words on canvases

thick, thick velvet rope

viscous is what viscous does

work of EMTs and better halves…


It was the worst day, till you

came and toured my thighs

not yet sexual, nothing to gain…


Just four hours of island skin

dappled by coconut hair

storm gutter veins, not like…


My youth when comparisons

were Brittney this, Brittney that

mudslides, bulimia and cocaine…


Now I’m Katherine in Africa

I look without fear down

the smooth metal barrel,

it’s a lion charging at me…


And Hemingway be damned

I won’t even shoot it.


American Dream



what can make me forget

how slowly you closed my throat


as when Thetis closed Achilles eyes?


our one world had two old holes

they’re filled we endless needs & surprises –


a myriad of colors that changes with every needle


that touches it, that held it together – for us –

darkly fistulas now painted grey.


the heart is a whole nation of its own, ours are


a league of nations one unknown to the other.

you said “a natural forest needs no footpaths”


if the trees could hold each other’s hands to form an arc


“that would be all the bridge you’ll ever need” you said.

my body dissolves & you drink it whole.


it was no day at all until you made it one, until it rained


mudslides, bulimia and cocaine…

because I’m a Kat purring at you – my American dream,


not sexual, nothing to gain. just four hours of a soothing storm.


& what can make you forget that? forget me,

the water spilling from your mouth onto your breasts


& onto everywhere else soft as velvet?


If I Were a Boy



I asked you,

If I were

A boy


You answered

With a fern

As a gag


But still I slip

The words

Past the fern


If I were a boy


If I were,


Would a fern

Be sufficient

To silence


A life – God,

If I were

A boy?


If I Were a Gal



I asked you,

If I were

A gal


Not that an answer

Is required

Or even expected


Turn the menstrual pad

Into a raspberry pie,

Feed you the honey


You make – me

Submitting our knees

To God


My light shadow

Slipping past

Your every word


Oh, if I were

A gal,

I asked you again


Would a spurious bell

Dangling between

Two oak trees


Be all it takes for me

To melt into a cream

Like asphalt in the sun?


Man, I can be that thing



I am a widow

Testimony borne



Didn’t faint till came

Your ten fingers, upon—



Little touch little sigh little kiss



The resisting ess; depress my sides

Press the bellows till my accordion



Twitch—till frilled folds of my canvas



Hide, stretched lithe as the Van Gogh

Ear did shriek, be it was in depths



Of want and desire; insanity speaks



My poetix tongue, gifts to bear,

hxs wet black cheek,



Where there was Lo—

a gulched nave. Makes God sit up

to clap in praise.



You wear my thorns so well—



For you are a student of the hopeful

Hellebore; she seeks your midday



Sun, that she may rise to meet your

Lips, again. Winter Flower heeds the



Starry Sky, of your incessant accordion—


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