Isabel Tejera, Oxford Comma

Oxford Comma

First time, no words.
Just my hand around her neck
like an Oxford comma,
the whip of rain playing
like a poem, two bodies
wrapped around the phrases
“yes, thank you, more please”
(legs open like parentheses).

Second time, no speaking.
Just the staggered semi-colon of our
breathing; a hyphen broken-into-pieces
the sun shining through like its eleven-fifty-two, see,
kissing never needed language,
and language never needed reading.

Third time, no stanzas.
Just side notes scribbled in the
margins, memories written in like
whispers, dissipating through the
paper, letting ink stick to our
voices – “I just really love / this moment.”

Because words always seem so final,
they leave her mouth like little
fishes, swim away and get so distant.
But / see
if her body were a book, I’d have read it already
if her skin were the pages, I’d trace tildes on her spine
if our library were stories
her stories would be mine
I’d write the rhythm of her breathing,
the commas between lines.

Last time, just quiet
an ellipsis grinning
three circles on her skin
like a story beginning.

(this time,
. . . ; * ~)

Isabel Tejera is a queer, hispanic writer based in Oxford, UK, originally from Madrid. Her pronouns are she/hers. She is an introvert and a hopeless romantic. She is a middle child. She has been writing poems her whole life, but this was the first time she had gathered the courage to submit any for publication. Her work centres around sexuality, coming of age, and mental health.

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