Love Poem after learning orgasm comes from the Greek orgasmós, derivative of orgân which means to swell

God bless my sense of this is our
body—that intersection—fucked
and fucker, gutted, gut. Boy, let
me get that subjectivity

again. My legs around your back
so you can carry me. Just land
me where my feet can’t hit the ground.
I’ll be the part of us that dangles.




My crooked teeth are weary of their sockets.
They’re falling out in mounds as if my mouth
has held a hundred mouths. My hoodie’s pockets
can’t hold them all. Tomorrow, they’ll go south
in padded envelopes addressed to no
one at nowhere, enough forever stamps
to take it there and back—because I know
there’s nothing to a molar’s bite, no clamps
tight in the jaw to chew something to raw
again, to crude integument to spit
aside to save something to savor. I saw
a gullet so voracious it could fit
a demonym and all the gist of where
a woman lost too much of her to bare.




When Mary tells me, Joseph, it’s a son
by someone you can’t see, I say believe
this. My throat itches this, this someone done
did told you wrong, this which cannot conceive
omnipotence, since, clearly, it can’t see
me taking down box trees with just an eye-

……….These here, these are hands. That there’s a free-
standing wood carving of a scene where I
come in my hand and Mary walks in when
I finish, thinking, I do know a man;
he, too, is God’s favor. A steer. A hen.
Her hand.

………………….I know there is no mark that can
carve noises out of her. There’s magnitude
within a given. Then there’s magnitude.

ERICA DAWSON is the author of two collections of poetry: The Small Blades Hurt (Measure Press, 2014) and Big-Eyed Afraid (Waywiser Press, 2007). Her poems have appeared in Barrow Street, Birmingham Poetry Review, Blackbird, Literary Imagination, Unsplendid, Virginia Quarterly Review, and other journals. Erica is the Director of The University of Tampa’s Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing, and, at UT, an associate professor of English and Writing.