by Jackie Domenus
She was like sucking the blood from a strawberry
when there’s no more juice left in the fridge, like crying
in the middle of the movie instead of at the end. The bend
in her back a new place to sleep when home didn’t quite
feel like home anymore. She was the sound of kissing,
same as the sound of rain—the night sky thirsty like me.
She was cracking knuckles, fighting air, can’t look,
but can’t look away. Every queer character in literature,
“worth the whole damn bunch put together.” Shakespeare
never wrote a queen quite as beautiful, a damsel quite
as distressed. Her body—a test of my willpower and I
am failing, limbs flailing to touch her as they drag me away.
Who guards the dungeon anyway? Who gets to decide
the forbidden fruit and who’s to say it ain’t just rotten?
She was a thousand bullets, or just one
melted in a silver spoon over an open fire and re-shaped
into a ring. She was somewhere on a beach, somewhere
the water doesn’t make waves, the sky purple and black
fresh like a bruise, like it was angry at the cold, like a fist
fight had just ended, the adrenaline still raw. She was
what it meant to be free, the fireworks scene
inside a home begging to be collapsed.
Jackie Domenus (she/her) is a queer writer and educator from New Jersey. A graduate of the 2021 Tin House Winter Workshop, her essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Entropy, Watershed Review, Philadelphia Stories, and HerStry. She recently earned her MA in Writing at Rowan University. You can find her on Twitter @jackiedwrites.