"What's the world for you if you can't make it up the way you want."

-Jazz, Toni Morrison


Attention

Attention

I have dreams in which I am stabbed
while my lover looks on. Most times

it is he who has stabbed me.
If he stabs me, it is an accident that

I want to happen. I want him
to hold the knife between his fingers,

laugh and bite his lip. I want him to walk away
so I can follow close behind, only for him to realize

he's forgotten something that is supposed
to be beside him, and he turns, and the knife

descends into my flesh, between my ribs.
He cries out and covers his lips, touches me

more than he ever has before, noticing
the sweat that cools my face,

the swaying of my body, how I want him
to be something solid,

this attention to hold and have
slick and oily and pumping

In the dream I forgive him but he does
not forgive himself so I don't tell him

I thank the knife and the scar—
my lover fastened and scabbed over.

In the real world, he does not cook
does not discuss,

insists the sky and the clock are better
objects for his sharp focus


Terese Pierre has been previously published in Acta Victoriana, Collapsar and The Brasilia Review, among others. She is an editor for Young Voices Magazine, Lady Lazarus Journal and Augur Magazine. Instagram: @teresempierre, Twitter: @teresempierre

Photo by Luka Davitadze on Unsplash

stereotype/lion (for the culture)

stereotype/lion (for the culture)

black porcelain. and complex.

black porcelain. and complex.