Honeybunny, for you, I've got a mouthful of soot. Sweetpea, for you, I always smell like blood. Everything that touches me, Lovemuffin, turns to salt. When I think of you I see fire. When I dream of you I hear footsteps on bones. When I see you I can feel the scythe's smooth handle in my palm. Love, you got me standing at attention. Clutching my heart. Polishing guns. Love, I got a piggy bank painted like a flag. I got a flag in the shape of a piggy bank. For you, Sugarfoot, I've been dancing the waterboard. You're under my skin, Love. Don't know what I'd do without you, Love.
From Bringing the Shovel Downby Ross Gay. Copyright 2011 by Roy Gay. Excerpted by permission of the publisher, University of Pittsburgh Press.