by Caroline Barr

You can open me. Unwrap

these sheets and pull—just

slowly, though, and lick your

fingers first—pull my left

breast out and find the note

you wrote to your kindergarten

love. All x’s and o’s and crayon

devotion. Reach further, the tube

of lipstick your babysitter forgot

in the couch cushions has rolled

to the back. Remember how she

taught you spin-the-bottle?

With those dark berry lips. Now,

move your hand to my knee, spilling

over with the coarse-ground grits

you knelt on for ten whole minutes

when your mother caught you

watching porn. You couldn’t even pull

up your boxers first. Scoop them out

and find the broken condom. The back-seat

night that almost made you a man

too soon. This is what built you, these

wide-eyed nights stinging red like a fresh

tattoo only I can see. Here, kiss me.

Rest your head on my ribs. I am not afraid

of knowing you.


Caroline Barr is a native of Huntsville, Alabama currently pursuing a MFA in Poetry at The University of North Carolina, Greensboro. She is a contributing writer for ANNA Magazine, LLC, freelance blogger and editor, and has been previously published in Two Hawks Quarterly.