by Nikkin Rader

self portrait as a tree

when you climb on top of me
I feel the soles of your feet in my teeth
lick the salt of your brow with breeze past my ribs

when you trim me
bush falls to ground
porcelain pubes tile tears
bloody drops on floor as you carve into my bark
skull meets concrete and we are children again

I swing with you when the wind blows north
and sing to you when the moon howls east
because your breasts are now budding so you don’t want to be held any longer
I want to spread roots into your eyes so you can’t stop looking
syrupy lips open wide for limbs and fingertips on molars tonguing ears with whispers
suckle my fruit I am limber you are limp
wood nymph in yellow eyes with brown hairs underarms

look at me in the night
praise beneath in day
draw me in your books
and paint me on your skin
I am within
of sin

– – – – –

lspmag has also published Rader’s poem when you steal blossoms that refuse to fruit: unbloom stricken out

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