pride.

by Michael King

we were all there once, fire
burning in our bellies,
sealing ourselves shut at
the windowsills,
choking back smoke and
calling it air, as though
we might change our shapes
by lying about our names

someone tells me
i kiss like i’m hungry, and
i wonder if it’s because i
believed for so long i’d go
starving, decided some
passions would stay
out of my reach, do i
kiss every time like it
might be my final meal

peel myself back from your body
for the moment, take you in,
here we are, wanting and taking
in the light of day, teach me
how to whoa in the bedroom mirror,
laugh between kisses because
we still can’t believe we grew up to
be seen quite like this

you will not have missed pride
if you don’t get the tickets, cannot
forget what you paid to be
standing here now, all our
bodies are prisms pieced together
in the shattered aftermath, spilling
color by nature of our existences,
climbing the concrete walls