What is Gold

by Jennifer Funk


Brick is the color of the trunk lifting 
each sequined limb aloft, 
and brilliant is the color of the leaves 
seen shimming from the bed
where you are taking me apart.

I would have you bury me
under your tongue. How often 
I wept in girlhood for unclaimed desires. 
The high, myopic whine 
in the word itself was intimate 

to me. What I've learned to keep to myself 
is little, ever-so inclined to skin 
myself open like a ripe orange. I trouble 
with good things, cannot let them
just be. Like you, with your 

faithful mouth. Look at me
here, splayed out in the back half
of the bloom, fizzing 
with pleasure, pleasure
scurrying through the skin

like rats on fire. I would say 
I want you, but the truth is hotter, worse,
is running for its life, every miserable
nerve traveling down with the same
worry-bomb: I'd rather miss you.

From your honeyed mouth
to my barbed mind, here at the edge
of our greenery, would you always
want a body so soft? So tenuous?  

You say you can stay, say you're going to 
				for as long as I let you.



___

Jennifer Funk is native Californian trying to prove her mettle in New England.  A graduate of Warren Wilson’s MFA Program for Writers, she has been a scholarship recipient of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and The Frost Place. Recently awarded The Friends of Writers’ Levis Post-Graduate Stipend, Jennifer is at work on her first collection.  Her poems can be found or are forthcoming at The Kenyon Review, The Cimarron Review, Four Way Review, Painted Pride Quarterly, The Boiler, Pangyrus, and elsewhere.