Wanting does not die

The poet Martha Serpas makes me cry, although usually in a good way (be that what it may).

In Praise of the Passion Mark

First the unintentional: raspberry
blush, many-speckled lights,
and the message: oops, sorry.

Then the hard mark of the all-nighter,
a true Hoover, a hole black as leather,
daring you to plummet.

We were dancing, it just happened,
she said, helplessly sentenced
to a week of turtlenecks

in May, in the sticky South. The frozen
spoon failing, she took a curling iron
to her neck and still her mother knew

the mix of teeth and lips and love.
Alone, she admired her shoulder's
violet smear: she was wanted

and had wanted. She'd have it
needled and inked, a permanent
badge of desire, a license for love.

And when the plaid-clad chem teacher
appeared with his bright bruise,
news traveled fast: wanting
does not die after all, after age,
one sort of taking in does not
supersede another. Go

for the jugular. We cannot
be sucked

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