Truth or Dare by Natalie Voelker
You Swallow MeI ram the door frame, getting you in—forearm rouged,
welted. Later, it melts to mottled blue, jaundice yellow.
Your liver is your savior, charcoal-black shirt plastered
wet to your torso. My taut fists are like rope knots
of net, hauling against the weight of you. I consume
your cocktail of bitterness, my nails making blood moons
in your skin as I pull you in again. I reel back,
tow hard until your shirt seams are ripping.
You, the unsavory catch on the grass—home becoming
another place to collapse. Your belching conjoins
to the cicadas’ chorus outside. Look, the world darkened
beyond our front door—wide-mouthed neighbors,
silent sky. Stars rise like the gold champagne bubbles
of our wedding night—or white spray following
the biting hiss of new beer. You’ve soured both,
for me—bottle after bottle endlessly beating me
to your lips. Booze-sunk, you settle out deep.
I drag you in, you swallow me.