Negative Space by Lauren Cervenak

All these indentations pressed into skin

Layers upon layers

As palms press against a centenarian’s build 

fingers grow red to push in pins

Smoothed edges support your smile

Does it hurt when I touch your bruised skin?

Problems with negative space? You ask.



Goosebumps met with craters 

Little bulbs reach out 

Iridescent star flames shoot yellow and white 

separating two lovers 

as you cup your hands 

to block their exit points



If you stare long enough

the dents start to smile 

and twist their limbs with the hounds

into a mess of bodies and faces all contorted 

with hands that mask their lover’s eyes.



If I peel off a coat of armor,

does it go against your code of honor?

Can you promise to stand, 

if I take your guard down?



I once was bewitched with youth. 

Exposed myself to you and bandaged what was missing 

All to make peace with your soft, bruised body 

Is your skin strong enough? 

A broken promise fills our space 

when I open my mouth 

to fill the silence. 

Problems with negative space? You ask.