Issue No. 5 || REVERENCE
Three Poems by Despy Boutris
I’m not asking for much. Only everything:
to sprawl in every open field, to never age,
to always be the most fuckable girl
pumping gas at the Shell station.
I don’t want much: only to shelter a hand
between mine, to lie here in the grass
until the last star dies out. These days,
I’m all pencil-scrawled poems, or all bovine,
always back in the pasture on my hands
& knees. These days, I write & write
until I don’t disappear, or look up
at lilac-colored clouds. Sometimes,
the night is so beautiful I can hardly bear it,
moonlight resting in my open palm.
I want to live here, lying in silt,
making wishes on clover: for hip-length hair,
eternal life, a girl pressing her mouth
to my inner thighs until bruises bloom
like violets. To name this cicadasong
a psalm, this poem a kind of prayer.
IN WHICH I FANTASIZE AGAIN ABOUT BECOMING A FIELD, OR ANOTHER POEM ON MY FEAR OF COMMITMENT
please teach me to be
let me welcome birdcall,
of grass. Let me
keep close what’s good:
& windswept seeds;
bloom like wild lupine
& yarrow. Let me
call this chest
winged sparrow, chorus
of bees. Soil
shaped bruise blooming
on my neck
like wild violet. Field,
let me learn
to accept what I want
the way you do,
at dawn: your lips
parted open for sun
for the spoonful
of honey she offers.
Tonight, gathering wild garlic blooms,
I think of your hands spanning my smooth hips,
breath on my neck, how the feel of your lips
turns me feral. Above, the waning moon—
Weeks away from you, I invent a room
for only us two: floor made of marble,
enough natural light for me to marvel
at the freckle on your cheek, the perfume-
sweet scent of you, alyssum and must.
And, here, all longing, here your fallen curl
clung to the collar of my folded tee.
Tonight, I think of your hand on my knee,
and want you wet, thrusting, limbs unfurled,
want the soft sand and pearl of you, this trust.
Despy Boutris (she/her) is the author of the fiction chapbook Burials (Bull City Press, 2022) and also has appeared in Ploughshares, Guernica, Agni, Copper Nickel, American Poetry Review, Gettysburg Review, and elsewhere. She serves as Editor-in-Chief of The West Review.