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Purity Lost (2019 AD)

by Alixa Brobbey


No halos here, only stale rings of smoke diffusing
above greasy hair, chaperoned by pungy odors.
Your hazel eyes two pools of quiet amidst this canopy
of painted faces, jungle of moon-like earrings,
miles of cleavage spilling from chests clutching
cans of fruity memory thieves. Notes float
towards the midnight ceiling, exploding flecks
of drum beats like gun shots dancing in my ears.
Bodies stampede. They move into one another
as rubber bands snapping, stretching sweaty limbs
into whip-like lips. A stranger locks my virgin
eyes into an embrace, moans something about a “safeword,”
while sliding into the woman next to her. I am naked,
clothed only by naivety and a checkered flannel
too warm in all this heat. A splash of your smile spills
onto my cheap sneakers. Spotlight shifts from the grinding
wails of the music to cotton t-shirt and quiet waves. I
trade the lilting bass for your heartbeat, platinum hoops
for ivory hug draped around my shoulders.
You pull fear to the side, teach it to sway to a new
melody, dance to the thump thump of young blood running
through flesh-like ribbons.
It’s true, there are no halos here, only
stagnant trinkets and chilly beer and the hazel foundations
of a new home. Memory regained, I swear that when these brown
eyes blinked, they felt your arms turn angel wings.