Becca Lamarre

When they asked me how I wanted my skin
      I said, Smooth like the port of civil dawn.
When they asked, Yes but what shade?
      I said, Home like the hatch of weeping willow.
When they sighed and said, Let’s move to your eyes,
How would you like your eyes?
     I said, Wet, like walking between liquid blues.
    Heavy, heavy bones.
When they cleared their throat and asked me then
How do you like your love?
    I said, Like that day in the backyard – Hidden,
    Mossy, and bittersweet in the golden hour.

Becca Lamarre

If you split a man down the middle
You may find the source of his impulse.
Begin at the scalp – fragile
Because of it’s potential to betray.
Close wandering eyes, cross the breathing
Bridge to a mouth full of stars.

Just below bearded chin you get caught
In Adam’s apple, embedded chunk of
Forbidden fruit, where confessions
Pause before spilling out to air.
From here we fall to parallels, limbs
Spread starkly, wrists for rubbing,
Fingers for twisting blades of grass,
Fingernails slightly askew as someone
Skilled at unwinding bad habits.

One stomach button, one chambered heart,
One area concealed in multiple layers of cloth
Fabrics trusted not to betray the mere
Outline of his structure, of his veiled nature.
Much like a hole in forest floor carefully covered
In leaf and thicket awaiting drifting doe.

They say to raise a boy is similar to laying
Tile – preparation of surface and mortar matters
As does determined trowel in gloved hand. An
Arrangement of strong lines takes patience,
A dance of diagonals, a sea of sticky sympathy.
Tell your girl she’ll be a scientist, tell your boy
He can cry at the beauty of sun dipped home.

Author's Commentary: These poems were written some time apart from each other although they're both related to a similar concept of people as objects. That is, to shed notions of outward appearances, race, ethnicity and even gender to get to some of that weird and beautiful stuff we share as human beings.

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Becca Lamarre is an Indiana native who calls Chicago home by way of New York. She works in grants administration by day, and is a fretting mother, closet Phish fan and poetry writer by night. Her work can be found in The Open Bar at Tin House, The Dunes Review, Red Rock Review, Driftwood Press and others.