Remember when I got pulled over twice in 38 hours?
Both times I was driving away from you,
the flashing lights grabbing at my neck.
They knew that if you had asked,
I would have stolen every stop sign in this volcano of a city
and thrown them all into the Schuylkill river
Because you hated four letter word
And the color red
Which remind you of the stain you left
On my new bed sheets.

That night wasn’t the first time
you’d felt like a wounded animal.
Except I wasn’t the lion you’d come to expect.
And when you opened your eyes, I wasn’t biting at your flesh.
I was licking at the tender place.
Already I could not tell
Whose hurt was whose.

See, I know the trauma of four walls and a wound with no origin:
My scars ache just remembering that Michigan winter,
when it hurt just to breathe.
When my chest expanding was itself
a violence.

Bringing you into my mouth
Tasting of honey-straws, patchouli, and still-warm gunmetal: 
This was pure instinct.
How a kiss became our survival.



Erica Concors is both a poet and medical student, currently attending Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. She earned her BA in the Study of Women and Gender from Smith College. Erica enjoys blurring the lines between the arts and sciences; one can usually find her scribbling poetry in the margins of a medical textbook. Erica is also presently working on a new performance piece with her partner, Ann-Marie Gover.