How lovingly you plant
your sorrow on my brow,
your joy between my lips,
your imagination of my spine
as conch shell, or rose quartz,
where my pounding mineral
bones in fact exist because
rise moon, rise stars for inky blackness
for glowing night, for smooth plums,
for eternal mother fingertips, for
the universal plane into which all things expand:
& I cannot touch God
that doesn’t make us any less real.
watch coffeed sugar
spin and whip
coat bitter and
our blood is not intellectual exercise,
not one flake of salt rhetorical,
real like the list of slits you cannot
press into my flesh,
too, expand like
lightning splitting night, like
wood splitting hush, like
time splitting at the seam where
neither one of us can touch God.
still, you cannot touch me.
Jeni De La O is an Afro-Cuban poet and storyteller living in Detroit. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Obsidian, Gigantic Sequins, Rigorous Magazine, Fifth Wednesday, and others. Jeni founded Relato:Detroit, the nation’s first bilingual community storytelling event, which seeks to bridge linguistics divides through story. She is a Poetry Editor for Rockvale Review and organizes Poems in the Park, an acoustic reading series based in Detroit. You can find her on Twitter at @jenidelao.