Elizabeth Joy Levinson

hands

What hunger were we so desperate to feed that we used ourselves as bait, picking runs in our
tights high on our thighs, an invitation for the calloused palms of a man or the soft hands of the
boys we declared our love for in secret slumbers, but flicked off when they were in our faces,
until we found ourselves alone with them in darkened places, coat closets and bathrooms. Who
was more frightened, who caused whom more harm? What did we know then? We laughed at
your soft penises, your fumbling fingers that couldn't unlatch our bras, but really, we may have
been more relieved, and when you died, we did not cry, we were already ether, or in the ether,
always wanting to be wanted, despite not knowing what we would really have to give.

30 March 2022 

Elizabeth Joy Levinson teaches and writes on the southwest side of Chicago. She has an MFA in Poetry from Pacific University and an MAT in Biology from Miami University. She has been published in Whale Road Review, FEED, Tiny Spoon, Floresta, SWWIM, Cobra Milk, and others. The author of two chapbooks: As Wild Animals (Dancing Girl Press) and Running Aground (Finishing Line Press), her first full length collection, Uncomfortable Ecologies, will be published in the fall of 2023 (Unsolicited Press).