How to Make Love While The World is Burning

I take my lover’s face. In my palms. Ask my mind.

To swallow it. In the event. Someone yearns. To erase

him. I placate myself. A muted dream. Who can soar.

At a time like this? At the sex toy store. There is a

protest. The line of whiteness. Women with dyed

hair. Stopping the shoppers. I watch two Black

women. Interrupted and yet. They pass through. The

door jingles to greet. Good for them. I am asked not to

cross the line. I have been protesting for months. The

vibrators await. How much fight should I carry with

me? My sleep is deeper after an orgasm. I need

the depth to carry me. Away from being alive. At the

end of a life. I wake up to another death. One that is

not mine. I wonder about time. If it has as much

hunger. As violence does. I turn to my lover.

They smile in their sleep. I cradle into the gulf.

Of their ribs, beckoning. Our bodies wed.

In the deep, I arch. Against the cove. Chests rising.

Their body, mine. Holy architecture. Being human

is an act of climbing. The heavy earth.

Of ourselves. Into hands, glorious.

Tatiana (she/her/hers) is a writer, artist and educator. Her writing explores identity, trauma, especially inherited trauma, and what it means to heal. She completed her MFA in Creative Writing at Emerson College and is a 2021 Tin House Scholar. She also serves on the board for VIDA: Women in Literary Arts. Find her work in or forthcoming at Ploughshares, New Delta Review, Foundry and others.