At the Bus Stop

by Katie Schmid

A girl is trying to climb into another girl
through her mouth. They shiver together,
taking up as little space as two girls
can—and slow, through rhythmic
movements of the hips, they try
to find the seam of the world.
They are trying to get out and enter
another world of their own making.
They will go or they will come apart under
each other’s hands. Sometimes it feels
like I have been waiting 31 years
for someone to touch me the right way,
the way that will make me cease to be
one unbroken stream of longing flooding
the nothing vessel of my self. I know how
to make myself so you will have to touch me.
I feel her in me. I know I am your girl
the way you always imagined me. The good,
terrible things I know I do to you. I do.
For a little while, I do. Here is the grief
at the heart of my language. Here is the nothing
it seeks to bring into submission.
(How song will sometimes make the scab
you need to live, how touching is a way
of describing what you cannot have, until
it seems every way I lick you births
a new word and you are newborn,
barely able to stand. My gift, my wound,
where nothing is enough.)

Katie Schmid is a writer living in Nebraska. Her chapbook Forget Me, Hit Me, Let Me Drink Great Quantities of Clear, Evil Liquor is available from Split Lip Press.