“A Performative Act of Missing” — from Vulgarsweet by Amy Jannotti (Gutslut Press ‘23) 

A Performative Act of Missing: & i held ur hand & salted it with the wet of my yearning & i held ur hand & it brined & i held ur hand & it absconded on a redeye flight with no plans but find which direction the sun points & be there & i held ur hand & passed straight through it like smoke like shadow like light & i held ur hand & i shuffled ur knuckles like cards & i held ur hand & led you in the dance that would’ve mapped you to the secret place i store my sweetest reserves but instead i held ur hand & you bristled & so i bristled & so i spined & i held your hand & thickened my skinshell so i could survive the harsh desert & i held your hand & i buried all my blood in my roots & i held ur hand & i said dig & i held ur hand over ur own heart & asked is it still there pull it out so i can see & i held ur hand in good faith but love without works is dead & i held ur hand & you tied me to four different horses & let them pull me slowly from my limbs & i held ur hand under hot water under modern boudoir photography slant on the wall & i held ur hand & thought how nice it would be to hang from ur pinkie sideways & seminude & i held ur hand & told you i’d learn how to book a room somewhere so that we could pretend any place was ever ours & i held ur hand: you never held mine

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