of Jeffery Dahmer

To thrust all that life under your tongue!   —Anne Sexton
There is always the smell of chocolate, the rich swirl and I
separate his wildflower curls when he sleeps:
     Stephen only stayed for moments. Moonlight spooned into our bed,
his red cross grazed my lips, I tasted cherries, his

innocent hand in the night road, calling me - o la paloma blanca, the radio played this and he smiled, his mouth

the cranberries we stir into the copper vessels, their skin splits and offers bitter fruit.

He became restless: the guy wanted to leave and I didn't want him to leave.

A heart—shaped box, the candies are moss-green; I have held onto this too long. Anger hot enough to incinerate each scalloped chocolate I fold into gold foil and twist

his head around, it breaks, I crush his throat with a metal paddle (stolen from the factory, sweetness is only mine to steal),

wrap his confectionary body into plastic bags, and then retrieve it.

To kiss the rigid wrists and neck that belong to me, sledgehammer smashes each bone into crystals, stars entombed in stalks of grass.

My first love affair still glitters, when I am here

scattering starlets of cleaning powder on the tile floor, my orange coveralls the moon that tempered him, by the trees and street lights, his semaphore fingers spelling Jeffery, Jeffery,
for he creeps,

when the first blow reaches my face, I have already retreated. Into romance (a raspberry purée), the rapture - I held them close

all that life under my tongue, unyielding in my arms, their hollow eyes like truffles in cream, looking back at me.

As a child, I would preserve insects in formaldehyde, dragonflies, spiders, a praying mantis. I fall to my knees in a glaze of pain and remember entreating them, don't leave me, don't leave me please, and what I read,

what I read today: In those days shall men seek death and shall not find it. My eyes close like gilded paper, and I find it and

death, my only lover, does not leave.

-Lynn Crosbie-

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