it was september & i had not learned how to love myself
it was september & i still allowed men who did not look at me
like the sun to touch me
as if they loved me. | it was september & i still confused the
slight heaviness of alcohol with invincibility
& i still attempted to speak in foreign tongues without fear.
it was september & his eyes met my eyes &
i played the game i often played with people whose eyes
met my eyes yet i lost
& i lost more than i had ever lost or even thought i had
in the first place.
it was september fifth, yes that was it, when my mattress
became my grave | it was september fifth when i had his
his his his his fingerprints tattooed
on my thighs on my ass on my
body in places i did not recognize nor
i carry september fifth like a heavyweight in my pocket
i wait for the perfect river or stream or ocean
to fall into. i was never a good swimmer but i have been
drowning on dirt on concrete on grass.
it was september & my body slowly began to burn
& no matter how many showers
no matter how many other men touched me
no matter how much i scrubbed my skin
i was burning at his touch
it is now April & i am still burning at his touch.
it was september & i have lost.
By Erin Taylor
Erin Taylor is a Tulsa based writer who is always somewhere else. She has a chapbook of poetry OOOO (Bottlecap Press) and a forthcoming micro chap you look tired (Ghost City Press 2016). Her work has appeared recently at Alien She Zine, Metatron, Potluck Mag, Moloko House, and others. She blogs at amarettoandslayin.tumblr.com and tweets @erinisaway.