If we are fucking I am laid bare to bones. The moment you kiss me my skin falls off like a leaf. The difference between the idea of this and the reality is I am cold metal when you’re touching me now. I am fossil, ice and stone. I am supposed to look like a human woman and inside I am just the slow dripping noise of a stalactite and stalagmite trying to meet in the middle. I am paper I shred myself with my teeth.
If we are fucking you look at me like I’m a gift of fawns. A box of two or three, revealed slowly as a jumble of tiny legs. My surface is laid out by your hands like sheets on a bed. Your palms are flat and travel in gentle arcs. You are warm like ceramic leeching heat from its contents. And then you spike like a storm in summer when the skies are all crack and doom. You are seeing me as I cannot see myself.
If we are fucking we look at each other through nothing. No distance. We are both in this place together. I’m pretending. You’re trying not to. The hills roll away forever on the forgotten highway and I’ll never get out but I never want to leave. I’ll crack open like an egg revealing smaller softer selves around each bend in the road over each clatter of railway crossings. We’re making a very small room on earth for us.
Emma Barnes (New Zealand)
Image cover: Chris Kabel (hidden vases), Milan Design Week 2016