“Brushburn Beard” Jamie Joy Gatto

Enfolded by his mass, I am small, 
convulsing, in slow motion
our bodies wrapped like casings.

Our limbs entwine to become one creature 
made of urgency, breathing labored.

scent of skin 
of musk 
of cock 
of spit 
of sweat 
of cunt 
of hair and scalp

Our breath together smells like rain, 
faintly like the flesh of not-yet-ripe plums, 
a little like earth, both light and dark.

His mouth moves over my flesh, 
foraging upon my skin, 
my oils, 
my tiny, tender, white hairs.

He eats of me, 
my body, my muscle, 
I ripple in pleasure, I want, I need, 
find my core, give me more.

He moves his head to and fro, 
lapping at my neck, 
nipping at my lobes, 
dipping down to suckle
nipples the pale blush of wild strawberries.

He whisks two day’s worth 
of bearded stubble
over my tenderest flesh
stinging me with want, 
he covers me with kisses; 
his saliva cools the burn.

Weekday mornings I watch him, 
cheeks full of foam, 
wearing Santa’s beard.
He scrapes his flesh with the razor, 
smoothing the planes of his neck, his jaw
paving the road of his face soft and pliant.

He dips into the steaming basin, 
shaking off the excess water
twists his lips left and right, 
examining his next move in the mirror 
as if playing a game of chess.

He avoids the mole on his left cheek, 
a mark of beauty adorning a patch 
near a deep dimple
which only emerges 
in a genuine smile.

He rarely nicks, but when he does, 
red on white appears in tiny rivulets
pureed raspberries drip over whipped cream.

If I could lick his wound, 
I would, 
I would heal him if I could, 
if I shared the salve of dogs

Tonight I writhe 
under, 
together, 
atop, 
I rock.
In rhythm we moan.

By morning I’ll wear a brushburn beard, 
planted on my face, 
borne of our desire.

In morning, he’ll scrape away the culprit bristles
Silently dipping razor in water, 
touching razor to face, 
twisting his cheeks 
until they are clean.

Monday mornings I bear the marks 
of our love, 
chapped and raw, 
like wind-burned kisses,
worth the pain, 
with bliss to remember,
an exquisite reminder of Sunday’s rapture.

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