The Evidence of Where We No Longer Live
It’s all in those hips, baby. Let me see your vertebrae move. I like that confident pubis. It’s all forward, in my face, not sad and down and backward and tragic. A down pubis gets nowhere. A down pubis says, “I have low self-esteem.” A down pubis says, “I don’t like myself.” A down pubis says, “This line will go extinct.” But not yours. I’m licking my peg teeth over here. I’m saying yeah, baby, yeah, and I’m sharpening my claws on your skin.
My tongue trips over your ribs, your hips, the telling slant of your pubis. My fingers are losing themselves in your osteoderms, my fingers are finding your seams. Your tissues are plucking like bow strings. Your bones are crackling like old elastic. Your body covers me in dust.
Let’s play tectonic plates. You slide your fingernail under my teeth, and I’ll move my knuckle from your knee. You rub your elbow along my rib cage, and I’ll ease my wrist under your shoulder blade. Touch your ankle to my navel, and I’ll run my hip along your scalp. Let’s entangle. Let’s form Pangaea. Let’s pretend I don’t notice the changes until the earthquake comes.
Now I lay me down in your bone bed. I have opened all of your drawers. I have pulled back your quilt. I let the smell of you fill my hollow spaces. I let it replace the parts of me I’m tired of. Every one.
Now I pull your mud quilt to my chin, to my lip, to my nose, to my hairline. Now my bones cuddle with your bones. Now my bones shiver with your bones. We fossilize. We rise and fall and rise again. Our bones are one body. My bones touching your bones touching my bones. The evidence of where we no longer live. Public. Scrutinized.
Now our bones are numbered.
KELSIE HAHN’s fiction chapbook Responsibility is available from Lit House Press. Her work has also appeared or is forthcoming in Barrelhouse, Caketrain, NANO Fiction, The Southeast Review, and others. She holds an MFA from New Mexico State University and lives in Houston, TX with her husband, Stephen Cleboski.