a poem by Feileen Li
Dry lips to ebony locks,
she presses a kiss against my hair,
fleeting and chaste,
A breath against my scalp,
warm against the cool night air
my mother inhales,
citrus shampoo and something sweet.
Too sweet to be the mangos of Vietnam,
the limbs tangled in branches
and soft skin against bark.
To be a slender hand
reaching, pulling, grasping
for warm red and orange.
Tell me more.
Though sleep tugs at my voice,
my mind is
A sigh and an arm wraps around me,
her body framing mine
like two crescent moons
hidden in the cover of night.
Too far away, she whispers,
to be the juicy flesh
that melted against her tongue;
to be the bright yellow strings caught between teeth
and sweat against the gentle curve of her brow.
She tucks me further into her embrace,
close enough to hear the steady thrum of heartbeats,
to hear the melancholy laced in her whispers
of a home worlds away.
Of tanned hands clutching sunset colored fruits
and rays of liquid gold against her face.
the longing in her voice
heavier in the silence.
Fingers thread through mango scented hair,
slowly and then still and I close my eyes,
strangling my desire to hear more.
The night is empty,
a lull in the winds instead of a quiet rustle of leaves.
Starlight soundlessly slants through glass windows.
The world has stopped for her,
and a hushed silence blankets the room,
one that I am too afraid to break.
- Feileen Li