Plant 2

By Nancy Lynée Woo

Mm. I love in a treacherous way.

You send me a song on Facebook –
“Baby”
a love song fraught with wispy melodies,
deeply moving but adrift,
aloof and elusive but Oh! So heavy,
too much like the sender
for me to hear anything but –

“Listen to it, and immediately,
tell me how it makes you feel
IMMEDIATELY,”
you urge with the intensity of hail
falling on egg whites-
and baby, with no hesitation
looking straight into the storm,
I say, “Love in a treacherous way.”
How does it make me feel?
You press me like an iron
that scalds rather than smoothes.
Here’s how I feel:
Like a wrangler
who corrals all but the one too wild for
touching.
I’ve had enough of being a juggler on display
though the thrill of it at first
was rough and raw and mistakes so plentifully bare,
so naked and willing to be eaten through to the bone.
Everyone is eating everyone through to the bone.
Popping whole thighs into the mouth, sucking and slurping
down fat gizzard grease
mmm licking fingers and spitting
out the leftovers.

What a fucking heart attack.

Bring on the diabolical self-sabotage,
burn midnight moments in the furnace,
devour lovers like chicken wings,
peel back the flesh with greedy lips
and dive into the batter every time
hot & gritty & never enough,
liberating and fleeting and
I’m shaking with consumption.

Oh, but the doctor’s warning:
There’s only so much heart for so many corollaries
and clogging
can
occur.

I love in a way that’s open-armed
but so much so I can never fully embrace
the one wrapped around me.
I have 8 arms like Kali, whipping
her guns around in ecstasy.
How I could take 8 pairs of claws
and slither my way
into the entrails of the ones I love,
organs on each hand.
Once embedded, I’d squeeze to the point
where skin making contact becomes, once again,
the jelly we emerged from,
this time with more blood –

So many dark caves back to the origin.
As if love were one gift to be given only once.
As if there were only one way,
and too much love is just too much.
As if floating and finding so many lovers
on so many frequencies is
cause for alarm.
As if loving one in one slow waltz and two
heatedly on a brick roof
and three while cackling to comedy
is wrong.

But it’s like: hey! I’m out here frolicking around
in the multiverse and I see you, too.

Baby, I’m a giver.
Each octopus leg wants to wrap around you
and let you taste my ink.

What deepness can be sharpened by one electric love song,
what an abyss that emerges in the darkness of
spreading oneself too thin,
flattened like a rug over the manholes I’ve dug.
When you sing
“Baby”:
when I hear what you hear,
the game is over.
I’m flat out gone,
I’m floored and remnant,
I’m the chalked outline of a body past the point of peril –
eight white-lined arms writhing in stillness
in the dust of the street,
flesh vanished but tentacles
reaching out to grasp
the music from the pavement.

“Baby,”
whatever caused the impact is as intangible
as the silence in between our calls,
as ethereal as our virtual identities
making love in the cloud,
as forgivable as when good people lie
and when I’m cooking
breakfast without bacon
I remember it’s necessary
on the way to fullness
to sizzle the fat out on the pan –
the trueness of what I am without you
is love,
a whole love
that radiates in dangerously too many directions,
too much love for two arms.
Flailing in all that,
“baby,”
I betray the solid lines
with lotus kisses I send floating
out on a wide, clear lake,
seeing you glowing on the other side.
I know some of those treacherous messages
will get to you,
but it doesn’t matter what happens in between –
“Baby”? The answer: I love it.
It stirs me.
No, it rips into me
so that I am the one splayed open
smattering the dirt with my intestines,
feeling the claws pick me up and return me to the source,
wind storm howling just one word:
Mm. Baby.

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