Chrissy Howland

A grown man
Turns into his mother’s child
At the back of his lover
Gaping at her shoulders like
He has bad dreams
Desperate for the calm
The touch of his
He reaches out to her
Like reaching for pearls in the sea
Presses his body
Between hers
Like a fig
Like the petals between
Sheets of paper
Color confined and leaves
Preserved and intact
Like love is
A battle at the seams
Like the lining of his jacket
Or her grandmother’s purse
The taste of the candies she pulled out
From the folds in the fabric
Tasting like metal
Like her keys
Like her perfume
He wakes up suddenly
And tells her
He was dreaming:
A black eel had brushed up against his back in the current
Swimming alongside him
Although it must have been her arm
Brushing against him as he slept
He’s sleeping again now
He sleeps like a baby


Chrissy Howland is a big tramp who likes rollerskating, cigarettes, and long walks on the beach. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland. @howlandunderground