Arsenic Lobster poetry journal Issue Twenty-nine
Summer 2012
desert cactus
Laura Theobald

if i’m warm beside you, i must be a heater. sometimes

i’m a heater and sometimes i’m a photograph: when i can stay.

then i love you like a mouth, a mouth that loves you like a hand.

then i fade so gentle you want to cover me with a black cloth.

i must be like the galleries—rows of frames we peer into

and step away— or i should learn to close like one.

i must be a heater on the fritz when you complain about the heat.

you remove your clothes, close your mouth, and start humming

like a busted pipe.

there is a small desert cactus. it throws little fuchsia tantrums

like quick fires you can spot on a night dark enough.

it must be a beacon for me on those nights, a way through

the shrubs on the backs of your hands, when i am not.

About Laura Theobald

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