Leah Horlick


This was not an original practice,
but thinking, for a time, that it

felt like being able to choose
when spring would arrive

            - Sara Peters, "The Last Time I Slept In This Bed" (1996)


The new rule was that if it hurt
            and I wanted it,

I had to ask someone
            to do it for me. And so

I never asked. The first time
            it's an accident—I am perpetually

drunk, full of adrenaline, and
            You like pain, she marvels—

astonished by my threshold
            for spring.

A whole week I can't sleep
            on my front, wear a push-up bra,

hug tight. Frozen peas, frozen           
            corn, one defrosted bottle

of gin, a thirty second panic in the shower
            thinking I wanted this, one

acceptable rock in my pocket. The new        
            rule. Next time, it's a surprise

that we both like this. For such gentle
pointed out

under sleeves or backless, in warm
            weather, like I've been out

in the sun. Look how much
            you love me. Little maps. Look,

you tell me,
            we match, all spring.