I only wanted

to brush against

one place or two–

my breath

on the small bone

at your wrist

or a kiss

on a taste bud,

a lash, the lip

of a single hair

on your arm,

like a sepal,


antenna, so slight

I’d be nothing but light.


I’d carve

a tiny abolitionist’s

coat button


a miniature


of two diminutive

folded hands

tinged in gold


Scenes from

the Story of Joseph

carved in ivory

on the handle

of a comb.


The Fall of Phaethon

in onyx

the size of a plum.


I would not intrude,

tiptoe in


like mice sniffing

the air,


each pad foot

the size of a pearl

that rolls away

beneath the bed.


If you wanted me,

I would turn

into a girl for you,

do anything, bow,



–Tongue Screw, Spark Wheel Press, 2016