This is the way we play at love:
gin pinwheeling our bodies together,
curves pinked with April want.
By play I mean this is not a game.
When we were eight
we whet our incisors on soft-lipped gutters,
tasting rust mixed in with salt.
Rust is another word for exposure,
a city undressing itself to reveal
the sky, folded, afraid.
May trickles out the window.
This city is a cauldron of
fluttering moths and backlit alleys.
(Too sanitized, too clean.)
On the train we shed eyelashes,
each one a parenthesis curving towards the light.
In the movies the girl is tied to the rails
and the whites of her eyes show
as she rechristens her kneecaps
and thinks, I am softer than I was before.
In the movies the dog chases after the girl,
fur blooming in the wind.
This is what it learns:
to love is to surrender.
Through the window, we see it running.
(Silverfish wriggle through your fur.)
Ropes twine around the girl,
binding her to the ground,
dirt pebbling against copper skin.
There aren’t enough looms in the world
to weave wings to her spine.
This I know.
I hold the threads
in my cold dead hands.
By Nandita Naik
Nandita Naik is a junior at Proof School in San Francisco. She enjoys writing, programming, and musicals. Her poems have been published or forthcoming in Canvas Lit Journal and Polyphony HS.