Except Thou Bless Me

I will press myself to you until I am red as an ancient riverbank
Red as a drunken flush red as my tongue swollen in my mouth for you
Red like my life pressing out from itself. You impose your body’s shape
On the fabric of the universe; I impose my body’s shape onto you. Red
As an emergency red as the face of a sated lion, as an unplucked orchard
Red like certain youthful lips are red before they have been used for love
Red as the deepest ripeness of a persimmon as if you invite me to
Pierce you with the firm prick of my thumb. Mars, Mars, Mars
You are red and I am a bull, my mouth slack and frothing for you.

I will have you. Do you doubt me? I will have you until I am overcome
My ocean loosed across the plane of you, I will flood you blue. Burst
Hot across you the way a thousand years of cold science could not
Leave the divots and depressions of you blue, blue as if I have bruised
You blue as the impenetrable ocean as a depthless summer sky blue
As the bludgeoning bulwark anvil of a thunderhead I will remake you.

For what are we to each other if not this: a consummate retelling
Powerful and sweeping as the weather, complete as a cosmos
Transformational and destructive as a living heart, close as a kiss.

(Editors’ Note: “Except Thou Bless Me” is read by Erika Ensign on the Uncanny Magazine Podcast, Episode 14B.)


Nicasio Andres Reed

Nicasio Andres Reed is a Filipino-American writer, poet, and essayist whose work has appeared in venues such as Strange Horizons, Lightspeed, and Shimmer. Nico has gone back and forth between the United States and the Philippines over the years, and is currently pursuing an MA in creative writing at the University of the Philippines-Diliman. Find him on Twitter @NicasioSilang.

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