Take This Off |
by Natasha Lumba

We sipped our way into my bed,
the gem-cut light bulbs diffusing away
an obtrusive nose bridge, thin lips,
melting his facial hair into his skin.

He hovered over me—a self-proclaimed
launch pad—inaudible motors going,
and his breath on my cheek.

With our necks hooked into each other,
I latched onto his scent of burning
hair spliced with Tide t-shirts,
now catalogued into my duvet.

An empty wrapper standing scalene
on my nightstand, he said,
“take this off,” and I obeyed.

The less clothing I’m donned in,
the thicker my walls grow.
Hiding behind my breasts,
my vulnerability, the entrance
to my body, I become an entity,

an urn filled with nights gone up in flames.
They fester there, my laundry list
becoming incestuous remains.

And this carousel of envelopes I seal with my spit
leaves the next morning when the shudders split
while my hosiery, stagnant where they blindly tossed it.

Once they’ve gone, I take my time
relocking the front door
because a few nights give, it will just be
re-unlocked once more.

Natasha Lumba studied Creative Writing at University of Southern California until she dropped out to go into a career in fashion design. Nonetheless, she always has a journal with her or is scribbling on cocktail napkins in the corners of bars. Currently, she works in Manhattan, lives in Brooklyn, and tries to create something every single day, be it poetry, music, art, food or money.