“Wolverine the X-Man Kisses” by BJ Ward

BJ Ward


His bones, lined with adamantium, are unbreakable,
      so his lover is just licorice and moth wings
in his careful palms.

And tucked within each open hand
      lie three knives, retracted,
but one thrust and snickt

(x, x, x)

whatever he holds could die.
      What delicacy is in his hug,
but is this a fair relationship?

Before you answer, know this:
      he is a mutant, able to heal
from the deepest of cuts,

and so to hurt him
      she must kiss him.
Look at his trembling lips

as he leans in to hers—see the nervous animal
      in his eyes, how it paces back and forth (x, x, x)
knowing there is no way out of love

but to suffer. He’s a mutant, but is he so different
      from you? Have you ever folded yourself
into someone’s arms, unsure of yourself,

knowing what you have learned in your life
      contradicted such tenderness, leaning in anyway,
lips separating, closing in,

the potential of blades
      running along your bones
just in case?

from Rattle #38, Winter 2012
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