april michelle bratten



The Cleansing

I long to be the one who paints your body,
finger-glazed, red-hot-smashed.
I want the warmth of your skin
to scatter with the tip of my brush,

as I slip-slide, astroglide
further down your creases.

My fingers, paint-dipped,
dip your stomach,
smearing deep denial
against elevated thighs.

But my hands are slapped away,
a! damp! eyelash! a kind of swift
flashback, your palms soaked
in the heart of my feminine blood flow.

This defeat, oh beautiful defeat,
how it calls to me!
Each flick of your wrist,
white furled heat.

I am a tendril,
diving your disregard,
hollowing your back.

I will wrap, I will wrap, I will wrap your legs,
and lay tender hands inside a bowl of paint--
red, I will touch you.

April Michelle Bratten studies poetry and literature at Minot State University in Minot, North Dakota. She has been published in several online and print journals such as Prick of the Spindle, BluePrintReview, Thick With Conviction, and Kill Poet. April currently co-edits the confessional online literary journal Up the Staircase.


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