by Erika Nichols-Frazer
I have three lovers and let them love me the ways they know how, with knuckles and tongues. One runs her finger along the crease of my inner thigh; another kisses my neck like the beating wings of a moth; the other’s knuckles crawl up my spinal column, slow and hard. I have three lovers and none of them knows my hunger, how their kisses will never fill it, how I long for hands and mouths and soft parts. I have three lovers and mix up their names, their birthmarks, their tattoos. I have three lovers who tell me they love me and I don’t tell them I know that’s a lie. I say thank you and mean it.
I have three lovers, one who reads horoscopes, says we’re compatible, water and earth, tells me I will have good luck this month, will be promoted at work or come into an inheritance, neither of which is likely. One reads my tarot cards, says my fire cards are strong. I am a flame swallowing her, burning white-hot. One traces my love lines, says they are broken, it is a bad sign. One calls me selfish, one calls me the love of his life, one tattoos my initials on the inside of her wrist. I have three lovers and I will leave them all.
Erika Nichols-Frazer is the editor of the mental health recovery anthology “A Tether to This World” and author of the forthcoming essay collection, “Feed Me,” and the forthcoming poetry collection, “Staring Too Closely.” Her work has appeared in Bright Flash Literary Review, Bloodroot Literary Magazine, Red Tree Review, and elsewhere. She has an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars and lives in Vermont.