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g r a v e l
A L I T E R A R Y J O U R N A L
In this Place
The last time we were in this place
we fucked like animals.
It was the bathroom of an
overly crowded hotel room.
A five by eight rectangle of privacy,
and a shower with a rickety rod
I didn’t trust to hold my grip.
We let water slip between our bodies
as the shower shot hot on your back
and you pushed your way inside.
I recall how the plastic walls,
painted to look like marble,
bent under the press of flattened palm.
Legs around wet frame,
afraid to slip,
but you held me firm.
I bit your lips till they tasted metallic,
lost my silence,
you caught it choked it down.
I clung to your clavicle with slow slurped kisses.
You took me,
and it was here,
in this place.
Love and Honey
I have grown tired of these dreams,
the way the toss me through the night.
Perhaps there is not enough sugar in my diet.
Holy knows there is not enough caffeine
in a single cup to keep me from flailing.
I have only been hungry once in my life.
I have only turned animal during a solitary full moon.
It was not what I expected.
This life is not what I expected.
And yet, today
my stomach growls.
And yet, today
my voices yawps.
There are footprints forming in the absence of warm bodies,
but no flesh covers these sun bleached bones.
I have no fear of the skeletons and the clicking of their heels.
If it is just a matter of hunger
would this heart and all its dried red fruit
be bitter to the taste,
would it not satiate the tongue?
I wonder sometimes
about the difference between
love and honey,
how only one can truly give you
the ability to survive.
You Found Me Beautiful Once
It has been years since
my skin has been so smooth
or my waist so narrow
and even the daily maintenance
of my physic has begun to wan.
I no longer pluck my eye brows
as regularly. Do you notice, love?
Is your cowardice at my touch
the reaction of a bad haircut
and fingernails that have gone
two months unmanicured
or is it something deeper?
Is it my exhausted soul
and sideways glance
that has made you resistant
to the charms I spread over bed sheets?
In my effort to give you everything
you ever wanted
I have lost the person
I wanted to become.
I have faded from the glamour of my youth,
the lines have set in.
I have never found myself beautiful,
but there was a time you would stare at me
without saying a word,
a lost expression on lips that almost frown,
and when asked what are you looking at,
You reply simply,
“the girl that’s going to break my heart.”
Like a good girl dressed in red,
I invited you in with a compliment about your eyes
and a coy flirt about the size of your teeth.
I remember watching as
you grew to the size of your cage
and curled fangs against bars
as though to prove there was
so much more you could be.
I thought I had given you all
the space you needed.
You were called to the pack,
your throat thirst for red moon,
and fresh flesh.
But like a good pet,
you wandered home when
You came to my door,
a wolf draped in ex lover’s skin;
stretching new covering
over sharp chin,
holding roses in white teeth,
and selling charm with
a dripping tongue.
You expect your key to fit,
But I changed those locks
and ignored your incessant scratching
at wooden door.
All you could do was
huff and puff in front of my house.
You didn’t understand why
I wasn’t fooled.
I was raised by wolves.
I know the stench of their hide
like my own sweat,
the breathe that makes neck hairs curl,
a bite in the guise of a kiss
drawing drops of blood from lower lip
a taste for carnage on the tip of tongue.
Teeth that rattle like empty tequila bottles,
paws that scrap against wood floors
Charms that slur from snarled lips
in the form of soon forgotten promises.
Some of my best friends run with the pack
and I’ve slipped the trails
with the biggest and the baddest.
I have bristles on the inside of my
throat vibrating against
the sound of the howl in my gut.
Don’t stumble through my door
with a snarl on your lip
and demand more than I am willing to give.
I have silver strapped around my neck
and a woodsman axe by my bed.
I know this transformation
will only last the night,
and when you return,
peering through Sunday morning’s brown eyes,
you’ll scrap the beast off your tongue,
the blood from teeth.
I will let you sleep at the foot of my bed again.
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