my bed, you spread me over it like an ocean by a desert in the Middle East. your bed, my throne and cradle. our hearts, our only homes.
i wanted nothing more than you alone with your eyes on my loveliness, your hands on my face, your lips loving mine when they ask for gentleness and when they demand fire.
my mother had rosary beads for breakfast and slept with it, praying that i will stop being as free as my father and her brother.
your mother lashed herself with the same beads only to knot them around her daughter-in-law’s fingers with yours. and you offered your hands, the same ones that tenderly unwrapped my layers like a sweating onion that burned you from the inside.
i am now wrapped in three blankets of warning, a drink of fear before bed and nightmares of our happiness soiled in rotten dates.
my mother spreads my heartache like a white handkerchief to her friends at church, like the cloth that her Christ wiped his face with.
your mother awaits to be surrounded by your heirs and kisses the temple floor as sweetly as she would beg at your father’s feet.
your bed, not yours to share, is it lost like a boat in the cursed South China Sea? i hope that sleeping on it feels like you’re under the bright and wined stars.
i lie on mine with my eyes shut to see our memories play behind the lids. have you forgotten me, or do we both choose to remember us as we were before?
we were buried alive in our home, our hearts. oh king of my bed no more.
—Kristina Taylor, Rotten Dates
Thank you for reading a poem from my poetry collection Floral Moans. You can download the whole book. Click here.