Thorn and Kiss

You bite your lip in
nervous habit, a tiny
blossom of blood rises.
I want to put my thumb
there, to taste the salt
and pain. In nervous
habit, I want this blood
to rise like a rose against
your thigh. Tiny blossom
against my lips. I want
your bite, the wound and
the salt. My thumb in the hollow
of your beautiful throat.

To taste your lips, a nervous
habit. And sometimes,
also, this pain.

Photo Credit: anderson2011101 Flickr via Compfight cc

Categories: Poetry

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Jen Rouse

Jen Rouse’s poems have appeared in Poetry, Poet Lore, Midwestern Gothic, Wicked Alice, Southern Florida Poetry Journal, Yes Poetry, Crab Fat Magazine, Up the Staircase, and elsewhere. She was named a finalist for the Mississippi Review 2018 Prize Issue and was the winner of the 2017 Gulf Stream Summer Contest Issue. Rouse’s chapbook, Acid and Tender, was published in 2016 by Headmistress Press. Find her at and on Twitter @jrouse.

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