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What thing you say love?

You wrap me around your arms,

You whisper soft, secret words.

You put your mouth on my mouth,

You hiss the word, “Love.”

Too bruised to speak, a drowning man,

My breaths come in gasps.

Outside the spring sun squints

At the dying blue jasmine in its terracotta.

I say, “Water.”

You say, “You should kiss me back.”

Your plumpness, your hidden curves,

They strangle me like grief.

In the cryptic centre of my head,

A voice recites a rhyme I read somewhere—

“We talked between the rooms,

Until the moss had reached our lips,

And covered up our names.”

What is driving my arms, my tongue

Is but a guided dream.

I close my eyes—

I picture you, a different you.

You slant your head,

Your eyes are half-shut,

You whisper in distaste—

“I want you here.”

But you will never find me here,

You did not bring me here.