AXIS, By L. Kwan

Much used, this word, and maligned
in times of war. So many evils
amok in our world, sweetheart, we need

to line them up, to be aware of
which man to fear, what planes
to watch and how to think, but I can only think

of you, my dear, my axis I care for, your line
I must toe, my sun pillar at daybreak, my syzygy
of lunar eclipses, unseen but felt as tides,
strong-legged to my harbor waves. I push

on you, my tries to enter, to knock
you over with maleness, with brute and brio
but gentle and against, your hips
receive me, steer straight my sword, and foil

this commoner’s insurrection, your empire,
oh empress, will stand and fly
itself from the capital flagpole, on which we snap
our banners of flesh, admired from afar
like the Eiffel Tower, which is your neck
its sides carving up, or a sliding down

towards your vaulted clavicles, steeple to your cathedral,
Notre Dame, in which I pray, I confess
how I envy
the drop of sweat
tumbling its every surface
on your surface, making steam, an engine

pulsing, pushing pulleys, cranked tension
and release of lungs where my breath
adds to your breath, our minds
subtracted, bodies only meant to multiply
our steps, my legs
dividing your legs
to propel us along the Y,

according to Z, you gifted time,
and lifted me up the X
where it marks the spot for us to reach
our hands beneath

and bring up our two axes
to hew our hands as one
and swing us our axes

one tree down, a forest to go,
a forest to dull us, our axes,
so we have some to grind, baby
let’s do it, we’ll sharpen our blunts
and edge out the crowd, thin us

our logs and pile it on, we’ll build
us a floor, a dance hall, a home, here

the foundation, its corners and degrees,
here the measured roof, the leeward window,
here the basement and bedroom braced,
everything’s leveled, everything’s plumb.
Here is my hand, and here you are, my dear, the door.

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