I entered Cultured Vultures “Poem of the Week” contest last week. My poem “Six months without sex” placed second, with first place going to Jennifer Hudgens. You can find the poem here. Thanks to the editors and the publication for the opportunity. I have also shared the piece below, as the site shares it center justified without stanza breaks. It appears here as intended.
Six months without sex
You start finding the cheating bones
in your own body. They’re shaped
like cochlear shells, spirals built
on the Fibonacci sequence,
made to fit under the ribs like spurs
so every breath hurts
until the heart is numb as a tree trunk,
though we know now that plants too feel pain.
Memory becomes an internet browsing history,
persistently erased with sleep and routine,
a sound of ice creaking in temperature change.
Someone’s always working late,
always crawling into bed with a smell like smoke
on their skin, in their hair, like they’ve roasted
on a spit spinning in someone else’s loins.
It’s a paranoia of losing what’s known,
the familiarity of touch and sound
that builds itself into a nest of bed springs
and lost earrings. You tiptoe around it,
as if it’s a sleeping lion with blood on its teeth,
when it’s only a hummingbird of wants,
grown too heavy to hum, sad eyes you refuse to meet.
It’s awkward, relearning how to fly,
how to kiss your wife’s face,
how to wake up with her scent
on your hands, pelvis bruised
from breaking the ice
formed around your wings.