SM by Franny Choi

by Leslie Anne Mcilroy

as if closeness is a cure

in the stories people touch each other
in the bathroom, in the supply closet, under 

a blanket or through latex, leather. collared
& splayed. begging — as if touching’s 

the thesis. in the stories a whole fist. 
hands everywhere. skewered at both ends until 

a last shudder saves the day. then pull up the sheets
& drift, satisfied, into forgetting. meanwhile 

everyone i love is going extinct. 
i turn on the lights 

& elsewhere a massacre. elsewhere a school: 
rubble again. a prison. dogs split apart in the heat. 

meanwhile things keep being what they are. 
so. how else to get touched. but admitting: this hurts

everywhere, it hurts     it hurts.

Photo of Franny Choi by Tarfia Faizullah

Photo of Franny Choi by Tarfia Faizullah

Franny Choi is the author of the collection Floating, Brilliant, Gone (Write Bloody Publishing, 2014) and the chapbook Death by Sex Machine (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2017). She is co-host of the poetry podcast Vs. and a member of the Dark Noise Collective. Her collection Soft Science is forthcoming from Alice James Books.