a memory ode to parts of your body i touched last night

By Kathryn Smith | @kathryn.smth


Your Jaw

each time my palm magnetizes to your jaw,

when the tip of my thumb brushes your ear

and your chin rests against my wrist

and i can feel the pages of your skin turn soft like a well-loved paperback,

it reminds me of how many times i can hear you tell a story

before excitement stops trapping itself in my throat—

and by that i mean

your jaw reminds me of my favorite book—

and by that i mean

the excitement of reading it will never stop.


Your Neck

when your neck folds against my lungs

it reminds me of origami cranes

and writing poetry on the back of receipts.


Your Tongue

when your tongue brushes your lips before falling against mine,

i see pomegranate seeds on every taste bud,

can feel their bubbly sweetness bursting in every crevice of my mouth,

and it reminds me of all the time i’ve spent

opening those fruits, wondering

with each labored slice, if it would be worth the work

and loving the taste so much more when i finally got there.


Your Hands

holding your hands reminds me of winter, reminds me

of storms like on the second day we met,

reminds me of snow melting on your eyelids and our fingers

folding together for the very first time.


Your Heart

your heart does not remind me of anything

but anything reminds me of your heart.

like now, when my body is jolted by rhythms of early spring thunder

and it reminds me of how it felt to press my ear to your chest

and hear my brain vibrate

with each palpitation,

or when i’m standing on the green line at noon

because you’re lucky if you can get a seat on the green line,

holding the pole above me for support

as the train batters against each rail like it can’t wait

for the moment it finally escapes

it reminds me of how it feels to hold your pulse in my hand

like it, too, can’t wait to escape.


Your Spine

there are 24 bones in the spinal column

and each one of yours reminds me of a different shade of blue.


Your Entire Beautiful Body

tracing the curves of your body reminds me of home,

reminds me of the high-arching, fast-crashing bends

of waves on nauset beach,

reminds me of the circular dune-hugging pavement

on ocean view drive.

your body reminds me of home like it’s a comfort i told myself i’d never miss

but now that it’s back

i have no idea how i went so long without it.

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