Geographies of Hunger (poem)

I have laid down my traplines
on your body, my love.

I can read the slope of your shoulders
like an animal’s trail;
the sheen of your sweat
is like a trace of soil on my tongue
that lets me taste your wanderings.

The arc of your spine under my palm,
the dip of a dry creekbed –

the patterns of cracks and fissures
around your eyes, the corners of your mouth –

your hips, your knees,
and other asymmetrical rounded things –

the taut line of your lips argues
with the rest of your body,
does not argue with me.

I smell the earth in your skin and I taste it,
see the rain on it, see the rain run slowly
across the hills and valleys of your naked body
that is not mine.

I have laid down my traplines
on your body, my love,
but your body is not my body
and your warmth and your blood are not mine.

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