Calida Osti

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I mourn like I
kiss in the moments before
my alarm—closed eyes, lips
pressed, searching
hands, body

a silver cord pulling me in
a stale taste in
my mouth, in
a moment of forgetting.

Remembering is like being kissed
by an ex-lover
who just couldn’t take the hint.


How deep, how often must a woman be touched
be wrapped up and pushed down
be kissed be hit be crushed
be pressed against a fist
be brushed and stroked and grazed and traced
and labeled a joke and raped
and groped and handled and tapped and
nudged and pushed and petted and steered
be stroked and blown and scratched
be bled and sewn up
here or down there
be patted down
with hands and looks
bitten tasted licked
rubbed and stained with the strain of hard
be worshipped ogled examined
be shocked
be joined and felt
How deep, how often must I be touched


Calida Osti is a poet from Georgia currently writing in Indiana. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Better Than Starbucks, Sugared Water, WINK, Willawaw Journal, and Writers Resist. Say hello at or on Instagram/Twitter @rawr_lida.