A Psalm for the one
BY TIANA CLARK
O taste & see David’s lips,
his mouth: a crucifix for my wet begging.
When he sang worship songs—
I emptied my pockets, my purse,
& let down my hair for a tenth of his blue gaze.
The Lord said He was the One,
so church girls bought wedding dresses.
O to be saved by a man who could sing like that—
silky vocal runs
warm on fingertips melting sin.
I never sought to be like the stupid girls
but when he grabbed my crotch, I said—Yes.
An altar for his drossy hands was my body.
I became the Easter poinsettias too,
open & red, shiny with lacquer.
Yes to curry that laced our tongues with yellow spice.
We laid in bed & burped & laughed all night.
We saw a couple having sex in a car.
He stayed & watched as they watched him.
I held his hand on the streets walking home,
thought I heard a voice say He was the one, but—
the summer wind can mimic almost any wish.
A grown man crying in my car—
A grown man picking a speck of black pepper
from the wet groove of my gums with a toothpick
like wheedling a soft prayer. Amen.
He almost destroyed New York,
but I didn’t want New York anyway.
How every tug & tough was a bite that drew no blood. Amen.
The last email said I was just
a really good friend… a sister in Christ.
We slowly gnawed at the savior of desire,
a valley of dry humping
that made raw heat but no spark. Selah.
& when he wasn’t singing I was lying
with my body.
& when there was no more milk—
I left him,
but in some ways
I am still walking down this aisle on my knees.