by Robin Gow

I wanted to be tossed in your salt water
where the blue edges toward green and a siren
pulls everyone’s hair down past their shoulders.

I put your shell in my mouth.
How it softened and you, too, sunk into my skin. 
Sunken-shipped I told you, “There is nowhere else.”

Made a ceramic bowl to hold our knees. No one else
has to know. No one else has to know we are 
girls kissing girls. It is midnight and you find

a can of clam chowder in the cupboard. Lid pried open.
Dangerously, you lick the edge but don’t cut your tongue.
Stir and thicken. Holding up the soup, asking me to taste.

Cream and sweet. Clinging white-knuckled 
to the edges of a wharf. Could have been lovers.
No. We were lovers. You asked,

“Do you want to try it with crackers?” I would have
said yes to anything from your hand. Knots in our soup.
Air bubbles turned hard from going un-breathed. 

Robin Gow is a trans poet and young adult author from rural Pennsylvania. They are the author of Our Lady of Perpetual Degeneracy (Tolsun Books 2020) and the chapbook Honeysuckle (Finishing Line Press 2019). Their first young adult novel, A Million Quiet Revolutions, is forthcoming March 2022 with FSG Books for Young Readers.