DEVOTIONAL WITH PEONIES

there’s a red cloud in your hair, oh ranunculus,

and I’m constantly misspelling your a for a cup:

like the cup in the word bifurcation

which seems to resist its own base, making space between its hands,

like how my singularity is a kind of kindness:

the sound of my skin against my skin.


the sound of skin: 

say: peonies say ranunculus
like softly kissing the inside of three fingers three times. there’s kindness

in holding yourself, in cupping, 

to catch the icy water in your mouth, your hands

in running it over the bright and bleeding splits


there’s a darkness inside peonies, inside sliced

open things making the sound of skin against skin 

and my body itches through my hands

between probing and tearing this ranunculus

but holding instead like a brandy or bell

enacting towards the creature that we are, a small kindness


and i feel like i’m going kind

of insane. Reality splits: 

in the white hours of the morning there is my voice and my open

mouth but in this moment I could say something.

something about holding any desire

the frictive want inside my hands 


to disappear into the body of language and reach our hellos

into a kind of future

where my body opens (say: ranunculus,

like softly kissing the insides of your fingers, their branching 

say peonies, their sound of skin)

and unfolds into a field of eager cups


drinking all the family in the dirt drinking it up

all their arms reaching if you press your hands

to your ears it’s the sound of one palm against another

the kind of tender touch

too often reserved for a body that isn’t 

the body’s own oh body, that i could hold you 


with the whole velvet of a peony, kindness

like the music of my skin, my holding my hands.

 

Tara Jayakar

is the founder of Raptor Editing & Press. She works in web and content editing and lives in Brooklyn.

 

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