Grandma
didn’t want my hand,
without lifting her head
she said it was heavy and
burdensome. How
does love become
a burden? The weight of
tender body heat; my hand
on her back caressing
suffocation—

As I lie in bed after
we fucked, I asked
him to climb
on top of me,
outside the sky has turned
dark, his chest heavy
against mine, my hands
pinned in
supplication,

but not suffocation—
I could not
recreate that cold, black
of dying
where even warmth, body,
and love, are frightening.

About Jesse: Jesse Ko is a poet, an artist, and an avid journal writer. He grew up in three different cities—Hong Kong, New York City, and Bangkok, but New York is where he identifies as home. Jesse was recently teaching kindergarten in Bangkok for two years where he discovered his love for teaching, and now he is back in New York, studying for his master’s degree in art education at Teachers College, and being thankful.

Return to Issue 3.