What We Love and Will Not Give Up / Emily Hockaday

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dancing girl press, 2014

Shadow Puppets

We have a talk. I wake in the night with my hands out—you wake in the night gripping my shirt tightly. You would put me out in the rain, the lightning, the electric prongs missing the socket. We have a list of things that make us happy: Much of it is variable-dependant. Much of it is quiet, much covers waking in the night fingernails digging into what we love and will not give up; blood pooling in crescents across our arms and waists. We bring our gods down into our hands. How will we name each other if no one gives us the archetypes? We rip pictures out of books hold the illustrated moons to each others’ teeth. Is that what we look like? Paper shadows, craters.

I wake on top of you, over the covers, the sheet between my legs, twisted, wake up doing laundry, cooking dinner. I wake up with teeth grinding, pulling the pictures from the walls. Sleep walking, I call out to you, my eyes two terrible white grapes. You run a finger down my veins to ease the blood through swarms of adrenal fluid, seized muscle tissue. You feel something magnetic in there, something you like. Something to unstick.