Honeybunny, for you, I've got a mouthful
of soot. Sweetpea, for you, I always smell
like blood. Everything that touches me, Lovemuffin,
turns to salt. When I think of you
I see fire. When I dream of you
I hear footsteps on bones. When I see you
I can feel the scythe's smooth handle
in my palm. Love, you got me
standing at attention.
Clutching my heart. Polishing guns.
Love, I got a piggy bank
painted like a flag. I got a flag
in the shape of a piggy bank. For you,
Sugarfoot, I've been dancing
the waterboard. You're under
my skin, Love. Don't know
what I'd do without you,
From Bringing the Shovel Down by Ross Gay. Copyright 2011 by Roy Gay. Excerpted by permission of the publisher, University of Pittsburgh Press.
Copyright NPR. View this article on npr.org.