1 poem | Liz Purvis


After Aracelis Girmay


Once, you pretended to push me in front of a bus,

caught fistfuls of my jacket, laughed—

joking—said if I were injured in your city, I couldn’t leave.


Another time,

we got so high we stumbled down the street

looking for food-trucks, meatballs or tacos,

something. Anything.


Near the end, but before I knew it was the end,

we stayed up all night to watch the Perseids,


meteors falling like judgment day

over our heap of blankets

in the mountains, middle of nowhere, & we got drunk & naked


& you licked my clit until I couldn’t take any of it

anymore, that tight feeling in my belly

& the beauty—blueblack sky, falling stars,


their soft-streaks swimming through air

thick as honey—& you lay down


next to me, your heart beating so hard I could hear it

between your breathless phrases.


Maybe this will explain how my body still reels

when I hear you, imagining your mouth

shaping each vowel, each consonant.


Until you called, just now, I hadn’t realized

my mind’s already begun to lose your sound.


Liz Purvis is an MFA candidate in poetry at NC State. Her work has most recently appeared in the anthology plain china. In 2015, her poem “Before the Movie” was nominated for Independent Best American Poetry by Cahoodaloodaling. Other publications include work in Deep South Magazine and Damselfly Press, among others, and forthcoming poems in Zeit|Haus. She can be reached at liz.purvis.writer@gmail.com.

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