I would have you half-buried at the bottom of the sea,
decaying hand in mine, sand filling up the spaces
in your skeleton, lungs eroding, water between your ribs,
salt where once you could breathe. I would have you
howling in bed, sheets pooling around your skin,
finding parabola in the curves of your hips and god
in the blessed breath escaping your lips. I would have you
ablaze, a body burning, pocket of heat like an open wound
torn into the atmosphere, silent scream in the form of
sacrificial pyre, starlight condensed, furious flesh fed by fire.
I would have you torn apart by wolves, skin painted
by slanting shadow and viscous moonlight, hot metallic
blood watering the ground. I would have you blue-lipped
and stuttering, stony-faced, ice-cold, frostbitten and
suffocating, wind carrying the dying whispers
from your throat. I would have you a broken symphony,
all spasmodic limbs and the snapping of violin strings.
I would have your rust-wrought
body and all.
by Sheng Kao
Editor’s Note: Love poem or murder? Sometimes the two are interchangeable. This poem’s imagery paints obsession with light touches. I’m more inclined to love, but other readers may find more ominous connections in this verse.