What Love Is ~ Christopher Locke



Love is not a maiden with apple

buffed hair. No. Love is eating

rare tuna steak and swallowing

your dental bridge in the process,

three jagged teeth slipping down

your throat as wordlessly as a newt

into water, and you waking at four

a.m. to the bridge tearing through

you, pressing the wall of your large

intestine the way heat presses the cruel

arc of a scorpion tail, doubled-over, fire

blooming in great bursts from you, small

sounds working pebbles of air between

your lips, eyes X’d out like a child’s

sketch of death, until it passes, and then

the long remainder of sitting, fearful

movement will trigger more pain until

what is there to do but get up, wash

your hands, and walk back to bed

where she is waiting in the tender dark

to hold you, her soft rung of hair so close

you can smell its slight, apple scent.