When you ask to watch hentai
together, your fingers
already typing, I can’t stop myself
from not-speaking and then from not-
watching the screen held by a hand
that just an hour ago held mine
across a table before our food arrived,
and that now sweats as we watch
what I did not want
and hear what I think
is pleasure ringing, and I wonder
what exactly led us to this moment,
when only three hours ago I told
you a secret, and you cradled
me in silence after my insides swelled
from a biopsy, until
some sound brings me back to me
watching us watching it and feeling
a wave I don’t or can’t understand—
and then my voice asking for it
to end, surprising even me.

Read on . . .

The Food Chain,” poems by Raven Leilani

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