Dangle by Jennifer Taylor

Dangle

I suffer
suspended from his body,
hanged by my own desire,
neck taut, twanging like a
fishing line pulled tight,
not with a delicious prize at the end,
but caught in a tangle of slick, black kelp.

I dance
Feet pointing hard, beat a petit battement
(I know this move well, years of ballet lessons)
toes searching for earth,
a stump, a pebble,
something to absorb the pressure for a moment.

I flail
arms reaching manically in all directions.
He is so close that I can taste him on the air,
Soap. Sex. Weed smoke.
He is so far away that I can hear my
gasps for air echoing in the vast emptiness between us and
I
Just.
Can’t.
Reach.

“You’re a pretty girl, aren’t you?”, he says
and with that, the gap closes
just enough
for my fingers to find purchase.

I stretch
digging as far into the muscled, tattooed darkness as I can.
Rummaging through his chest,
I am searching for anything real,
a scrap of healthy cardiac muscle hiding
in the blackness, the tar, the rot.

I find
Nothing.
My hands are stuck.

I dangle
Suspended. Trapped there.
He looks into my frightened eyes.
And smiles.

~

Jennifer Taylor is the Content Editor at Gnashing Teeth Publishing. Jennifer Taylor is a daughter of Texas, residing, now, near Iowa State University. She volunteers with creative writing and English students, and especially enjoys working with those for whom English is not their first language. She loves all things artsy, and describes herself, artistically speaking, as the proverbial jack of all trades, master of none, having been, at various times, a writer, poet, painter, dancer, singer, choir director, theater producer, choreographer and, obviously, editor.

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