Michael Schmeltzer


The word wet—like
a rock

dropped into a lake—
can ripple

ever-widening circles
until all you want

is to press your chapped lips
on the fountain of a body.

Yes to the spout
where the water pours forth.

Yes to the black buttons
one by one

undone, the mouth
working its way

across a chest.
A growling zipper,

its teeth and our teeth
bared as if everything was animal.

Hunger. Bite. Now thirst.


I crave your fingers light as feathers
on my belly. On my tongue

your tongue, reptilian
and darting. Take two

sips of whatever
is wet. Leave me dry.

The desert heat keeps us
delirious. We lick each other

like sweet tea,
a sandstorm of sensations.

Every prick of cactus. Every blossom
a pleasure. Here where I store

a scorpion-sized desire
all stinger, we sing

of sweat and salt.
Our bodies bloom and bloom

until we petal-burst,
until we praise

the venom,
its nimble numbness.

Michael Schmeltzer is the author of Elegy/Elk River, winner of the Floating Bridge Press Chapbook Award, and Blood Song, his full-length debut from Two Sylvias Press. He has been published or has work forthcoming in Black Warrior Review, PANK, and Meridian, among others.

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