for christmas, you write me your body.
for a love token, you offer me your body’s map.
I stroke gold glitter finger tips and satin beige skin
on the crackle of paper unfolding.
here, a cock you created
out of your best imaginations
that grows hard at a shot of cleavage
like straight up amber whiskey.
in return, I gift you mine:
austere wordless infant
g spot shooting tears
ass stomp and razor blade switch
the pleasures and the dangers
if a map is created by conquerers and the unconquered
if the empire can shrink africa but africa remains how big she is
these maps can be rewritten.
re write my body.
each day I tip tincture to lips,
drip three drips, whisper
if a map is an artifact made by explorers and colonizers
if a map names where bodies begin and end & who will own their treasures
if a map could be made to show the hideouts and secret passageways
the stashes of food and drugs and guns
if we both have written maps to the stars
where our spirit flies out
and then written our return:
rewrite my body with me
you have wings tattooed on your breastbone
where I have the word home in cherry brown
I can already feel where we will make each other’s bodies new
what story will we unfurl this time
—LEAH LAKSHMI PIEPZNA-SAMARASINHA
Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha is a queer chronically ill Sri Lankan writer, teacher and cultural worker. The author of Consensual Genocide (TSAR 2006)and Love Cake (TSAR 2011) and co-editor of The Revolution Starts At Home: Confronting Intimate Violence in Activist Communities (South End, 2011), her work has appeared in the anthologies Persistence: Still Butch and Femme, Yes Means Yes, Visible: A Femmethology, Homelands, Colonize This, We Don’t Need Another Wave, Bitchfest, Without a Net, Dangerous Families, Brazen Femme, Femme and A Girl’s Guide to Taking Over The World. She co-founded Mangos With Chili, the national queer and trans people of color performance organization, is a lead artist with Sins Invalid and has taught with June Jordan’s Poetry for the People. Her heart lives in Oakland, Toronto, the central Massachusetts rust belt and the liberated Sri Lanka of her decolonial queer of color dreams. www.brownstargirl.org