Said the Tobacco to the Hand

Has your master ever made love
without touching—just dust

carried from legs to air to mouth
on wings almost too gossamer

to lift your body. How do I feel
to the touch: your calluses

like pestle, your palm, mortar.
You leave me desflorado. You,

tender guillotine. My white tongues
crumpled like the sheets

of two damp deserters who’ve forsaken
the bed they made for a looming dawn.

How often do you dream of running
yourself along a taut spine

that never labored under a name
not her own. What can you tell me

about the ship, its hollow
gut. What kind of dark

it carries: the sweet flesh of free
-range sky, or bitter entrails

even the buzzards would allow
the heavens to repossess.

When spat up
onto cold, foreign ground,

is it best to put down feeble roots
or to refuse to flower at all.
More Poems by Ariana Benson