Between Panic & Desire the Blades of Our Bodies [Poetry]

By Michael Schmeltzer

How much I want
your animal shadow,

its exaggerated movements –
Ours a glut of sweat,

pressure, and pulse.
Ours a pleasure, simple and precise –

pressed against me.
Scratch and cut a silhouette

from my paper chest.
Here where we slice light

with bodies like blades
and in between we lay.

Here where words
like grass are worthless

to every beast
mowing with the wrong kind of teeth.


Bite my neck. Let heat like hands
wrap around your throat.

Breathe in bursts, back and forth,
a form of fetch. How many ways

can we leash ourselves
to each other? Stay, here,

in this house, now.
Forget that

tame is another word
for broken.



Michael Schmeltzer earned an MFA from the Rainier Writing Workshop. His honors include six Pushcart Prize nominations, the Gulf Stream Award for Poetry, and the Blue Earth Review’s Flash Fiction Prize. He has been a finalist for the Four Way Books Intro and Levis Prizes as well as the OSU Press/The Journal Award in Poetry. He helps edit A River & Sound Review and has been published in PANK, Rattle, The Journal, and Mid-American Review, among others.